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Here we go again
Banks earned $171.3 billion in 2016, their highest annual earnings ever. While most indicators were positive in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Quarterly Banking Profile, there were some signs of concern. Even this high earnings report may work against banks, hampering arguments that they desperately need regulatory relief even as they make record profits.
Although the Durbin amendment, which capped interchange fees for debit card transactions, went into effect in 2011, such fees have continued to grow for banks until 2016. It's not clear why interchange fees fell by more than $500 million to $40.9 billion, but bankers are likely to pin at least some of the fault on the Durbin amendment, which they are trying to repeal.