WASHINGTON — For the first time in its history, the Federal Reserve Board said Friday it would host a live webcast of an upcoming open board meeting.

The Dec. 16 meeting is critical for the banking industry, as the central bank is scheduled to discuss a proposal governing restriction of interchange rates for debit cards. The Dodd-Frank Act included a provision requiring the Fed to write rules ensuring that such fees are “reasonable and proportional” to the costs that card issuers incur.

While the Fed has previously webcast other public events, including Chairman Ben Bernanke’s town hall meeting with educators and a conference on small business issues, this will mark the first time it has done so for a board meeting. One of Bernanke’s top priorities is to enhance the transparency of the Fed.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

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