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ICBA Urges Congress to Consider Unintended Consequences of Additional Regulation of Credit Cards

Supports Regulatory Effort to Improve Consumer Disclosure

Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urged Congress to use caution when regulating the credit card industry to avoid the unintended consequences additional regulation would have on community banks and their customers.

"While we agree that a small number of issuers have engaged in practices that are harmful to consumers, any legislative remedy should more broadly focus on encouraging consumer choice, transparency, and disclosure," said Karen Thomas, ICBA executive vice president and director of government relations. ICBA made its comments in a statement to the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit which is considering a bill, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (H.R.5244).

"This measure — which in its attempt to prohibit specific practices — imposes additional costs and burdens on community bankers who did not contribute to the problems in the industry, and will result in fewer and more expensive sources of credit for all Americans," said Thomas.

"Community banks want to provide their customers with a full range of services, including credit cards, and they work to build a relationship with their customers based on trust. As such, ICBA supports pending regulatory efforts that will clarify and improve consumer disclosures in a meaningful way, which will go far to force issuers to abandon unfair practices and fee structures."

Read ICBA's entire statement at www.icba.org.

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