Durbin: No Delay On Interchange Bid
WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Durbin issued a rapid response to today’s introduction of a bill to delay his debit interchange amendment: No.
“Every month we delay limiting the amount banks and credit card companies charge merchants means another $1.3 billion bailout for Visa, MasterCard and their big bank allies,” said the Illinois Democrat, who is assistant Majority Leader of the Senate. “The $13 trillion banking industry doesn’t need another handout - especially one paid for by small business and American consumers. I will strongly oppose any attempts to line the pockets of the credit card giants and Wall Street banks by delaying this common sense, pro-consumer legislation.”
A Durbin representative told the Credit Union Journal he doubts today’s bill, which would delay implementation of the interchange amendment for two years, will even get a vote on the floor of the Senate, where Durbin is an influential player.
“Each month,” said Durbin, “card companies like Visa and MasterCard require small businesses, merchants, charities, universities and government agencies to pay more than $1.3 billion in non-negotiable debit interchange fees to the banks that issue debit cards. Of the $16.2 billion in annual fees, half is estimated to go to just ten giant banks. Interchange fees are fixed by Visa and MasterCard on behalf of their big bank allies. There is no competition in the interchange market and the Visa and MasterCard duopoly continues to raise fees which are passed on to consumers in the form of higher retail prices for gas and groceries.”
Durbin’s remarks came just two hours after a bipartisan group of Senators, backed by credit unions and banks, introduced a bill to delay the July 21 implementation deadline of the interchange amendment, which would slash fees charged merchants by credit unions and banks by as much as 70% and open the market to new competition.