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For years Washington has operated under the delusion that government mismanagement played no part in the financial crisis. Convinced that “greedy” Wall Street banks were entirely to blame, the then-Democratic controlled Congress rushed through the massive Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by a largely party-line vote. Their efforts have since proven to be not only ineffective, but economically destructive. Thankfully, Congress now has available a suitable remedy in House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act. Continue Reading
Nearly seven years after the Great Recession ended, the economy still isn’t working for millions of working Americans. Their paychecks remain stagnant; their savings have declined. They cannot get ahead and fear for the future of their families. One of the principle reasons for this is the Dodd-Frank Act. Though many have not heard of it, Dodd-Frank is to household finances what Obamacare is to healthcare. Continue Reading
Statement from Molly Wilkinson, executive director of the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) praising Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) for his leadership on The Financial CHOICE Act: “The Electronic Payments Coalition applauds Chairman Hensarling’s vision and hard work on The Financial CHOICE Act which provides commonsense reforms that promote economic growth for all Americans. Of critical importance to the coalition is repealing the harmful federal price controls of the Durbin Amendment and we look forward to working with the Chairman on ending this failed policy.” Read EPC’s press release.
The Durbin Amendment, a.k.a. “merchant markup,” allows big box retailers to pocket $8 billion dollars a year from customers’ purchases. That’s $32 billion since Congress passed this law and retail groups are looking to increase their merchant markup even more. Additionally, big box retailers are not held to any federal standards to protect their customers, yet 90% of consumers agree they should be held to similar standards as banks and financial institutions when it comes to keeping customer data secure and private. The Data Security Act of 2015 would help protect consumers but retailers are fighting the bill to increase their bottom line. It’s time to put consumers first. Continue Reading
EPC’s latest resource explains how EMV chip cards can help defend against hackers.
In Washington, sometimes the facts get in the way of a good story when it comes to advocating for changes to public policy. Eventually, the facts have the pesky ability to expose the cold hard truth of a well-spun fairy tale. This is what happened when price controls were enacted on debit card transactions and consumers suffered as a result. An amendment authored by Senator Durbin was attached to Dodd-Frank and passed in the dead of night with little scrutiny or debate. The provision, which dictates price controls on debit card transactions, was hailed as a consumer benefit because advocates said that the money it generated would go directly back into the pockets of hardworking Americans. Continue Reading
While few senators attended the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on the effects of consumer finance regulations, Senate Democrats blasted Senate Republicans for trying to kneecap the CFPB and questioned one witness’ judgement about the agency at Tuesday’s event. During his opening statement, ranking member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chided the committee’s Republicans for having forgotten the recent financial crisis and the reasons why the CFPB was developed. He told committee members to resist the collective amnesia in the hearing room and in Congress. Continue Reading
EPC To Fed Chair: Durbin Amendment Rewards Retailers $36 Billion in Additional Profits, But Provides No Relief to Consumers
Electronic Payments Coalition Executive Director Molly Wilkinson today wrote Fed Chair Janet Yellen to express concerns regarding the detrimental effect the Durbin amendment is having on consumers. In the letter, which was submitted pursuant to the regulatory review being conducted under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA), Wilkinson details how the Durbin amendment never fulfilled its promise of lowering costs to consumers at checkout, but has instead allowed retailers to pocket approximately an additional $36 billion in profit. Citing a recent August 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond study, Wilkinson notes that few merchants are found to reduce prices or debit restrictions as debit costs decrease. In another survey 92% of the nearly 2000 consumers questioned reported that prices rose or stayed the same over the previous year. “…[this] study confirms what common sense and economic theory tell us – that is, retailers never had any … Continue reading
Capping interchange fees has been tried in some countries around the world. Despite claims that these efforts were for the benefit of consumers, the real world results have shown the opposite to be true. In every instance, consumers faced higher fees for banking services, a reduction in benefits and services and saw no return in the form of lower prices from merchants despite promises by merchants and policy makers to pass savings to consumers.
At first blush, you might well wonder why anyone would be against loyalty programs. Whether you earn points by shopping at a particular store or by using a particular credit card, you are rewarded for your loyalty. Maybe you exchange your points for a discount on airfare for a sun-filled vacation. It’s all voluntary, and everyone involved seems to benefit.