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ICBA Urges Congress: Oppose Misguided Interchange Legislation That Would Hurt Main Street Banks and Their Customers

Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2010)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released this statement today following a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on H.R. 2695, “The Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009.” 

“Contrary to some of the testimony given today, Americans are able to obtain valuable debit and credit card products through their local community bank thanks to an interchange system that provides equity, fairness and competition for everyone—consumers, merchants and card issuers.  Providing these products, allows community banks to compete on equal footing with the largest financial institutions. 

“If interchange fees are reduced through government regulation, consumers would face higher costs through annual fees and increasing interest rates, as well as fewer choices as community banks are forced to exit the market, with the net result leaving consumers with few options for their payment cards except for big banks.

“Merchants receive guaranteed payment, increased profits, and reduced expenses when they accept cards.  However, it has become clear that they do not want to pay for these benefits and are attempting to shift this business expense onto their customers.  ICBA urges Congress to oppose H.R. 2695, a bill that will reduce competition and hinder our economic recovery, America’s consumers and the Main Street community banks that serve them in cities and towns throughout America.”

For more information, visit www.icba.org

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