FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA: Despite Study, Debit Card Interchange Rule Still Harms Community Banks and Consumers
Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2012)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released this statement following the Federal Reserve Board’s release of its comparative survey of debit card interchange fees prior and post regulated debit interchange. The Federal Reserve Board's analysis showed that the exemption for issuers with less than $10 billion in assets worked during the first three months of regulated debit card interchange pricing.
“The Federal Reserve Board’s analysis that the small-issuer exemption worked during the first three months of debit card interchange price-fixing is not surprising because it is too soon for the impact to be felt. ICBA continues to believe that community banks and other small issuers will experience a sizeable decrease in debit interchange income over time as payment card networks and merchants continue to implement the Fed’s rule. A model in which community bank debit cards cost twice as much to accept as large bank debit cards because of a government intervention is simply not sustainable."
“The unintended consequences of government intervention in what was a market-driven and risk-based fee merchants pay for debit card transactions will undoubtedly over time have a negative impact on community banks and the Main Street customers they serve. Community bank customers who use debit cards will face higher costs and fewer product choices."
“ICBA appreciates the Fed’s commitment to continue monitoring how well the community bank exemption from the flawed debit card price-fixing law is working. The association will continue working with the agency to minimize the adverse impact on consumers and their community banks.”