American Express Co. chief executive Kenneth Chenault said the legislation passed this week overhauling the credit card industry's fees may reduce lending to "consumers who need it" and will hurt competitors more than his company.
The impact of the measure, which passed Congress Wednesday, will be "more negative than positive" for American Express because it may crimp the New York company's ability to set prices according to risk, Chenault said during a Wednesday conference call.
"My concern is about credit being available, particularly to consumers who need it," he said. "We'll be hurt less than our competitors because 80% of our revenues [is] generated from fees."
Card issuers have said the law could reduce their profits, increase costs for customers and reduce perks.
In a separate conference call, MasterCard Inc. CEO Robert Selander told investors Wednesday that the legislation will affect "every aspect" of how cards are marketed, including to those who pay on time.