Though a speedy implementation of new credit card rules could help consumers, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told a top House Republican that companies need time to comply with the standards.

"The board continues to believe that, given the breadth of changes required by the Credit CARD Act and its regulations, card issuers must be afforded sufficient time for implementation to allow for an orderly transition and to avoid unintended consequences, compliance difficulties and potential liabilities," the Fed chief wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee.

At issue is pending legislation that would advance to Dec. 1 the effective date of rules already approved by Congress.

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