Washington, D.C. (August 21, 2013)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), today released this statement following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would appeal a federal court decision striking down the agency’s price caps on debit interchange fees. The court ruling would increase the $6 billion windfall now being enjoyed by large merchants at the expense of consumers.
“ICBA is encouraged by the Fed’s decision to appeal the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s ruling, which would be a disaster for consumers and the community banks that serve them. The fact remains that government price controls on debit interchange benefit giant retailers while resulting in higher costs and a decline in free checking and rewards programs for consumers.
“More than a year after the Federal Reserve approved price controls on the debit card market, there is no evidence that merchants have passed on their $6 billion windfall in the form of lower consumer prices. Despite an exemption from some aspects of the rule for smaller financial institutions, the district court ruling will ultimately affect community banks and the communities they serve as the debit card markets react to this government intervention.
“ICBA will continue working to minimize the negative impact of interchange price controls so community banks can continue meeting the needs of Main Street consumers nationwide.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit www.icba.org.