To the Editor:

Your June 6 story "Justice Department Probe Raises Fears That Card Duality Will Now Be Banned" (page 2) needs clarification.

According to the story, I left a meeting at the Justice Department "convinced" the government is ready to overturn the policy known as duality which now allows banks to issue both Visa and MasterCards.

In fact I left concerned but without any inkling of what the department may decide on duality or rule 210(e), which is subject to a departmental investigation.

The IBAA wrote Attorney General Reno in February strongly urging the department not to take any action to overturn rule 2.10(e) that would allow banks to issue American Express cards and Visa and MasterCards.

Following the receipt of our letter we were called to the Justice Department to present our views. The department also took the opportunity to ask us not only about rule 2.10(e) but also about duality.

I left the meeting feeling the exchange was part of a very important and appropriate fact-finding exercise on an issue of enormous interest to the entire banking industry. I did not leave the meeting with any inkling of what the department may decide. The meeting was not with senior policy officials of the department.

Kenneth A. Guenther

Executive vice president,Independent Bankers Association

of America Washington

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