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Consider, for a second, the debit card. If yours is anything like mine, it’s a battered, unimpressive piece of plastic with some numbers on the front, and a signature on the back that’s nearly worn off. I suspect most of us think about it when we lose it, and the hassle involved with canceling it, eliminating fraudulent charges, and getting a new one. But a debit card is more than that. By itself it’s a piece of plastic, but if it’s backed by a multi-billion dollar payment network in every store in the developed world, it’s the equivalent of carrying around your entire bank account. It’s access to whatever purchase, in cash, that you want at any time. No need to worry about going into debt with a credit card, carrying cash, going to an ATM, remembering the checkbook, etc. Continue Reading
EPC APPLAUDS HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE’S PASSAGE OF FINANCIAL CHOICE ACT, WHICH INCLUDES DURBIN REPEAL, SECTION 735 WASHINGTON (May 4, 2017) – The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) today applauded the House Financial Services Committee’s passage of the Financial CHOICE Act, which includes the repeal of the Durbin amendment, Section 735. With today’s vote, Congress is one step closer to returning to the competitive, flexible free market and providing needed relief to consumers, small merchants, community banks, and credit unions. “Today was a victory for consumers who were promised savings by retailers, but ultimately received nothing,” said Molly Wilkinson, executive director of EPC. “For more than six years, big box retailers have pocketed billions through the Durbin amendment with little regard for their customers, small merchants, and small financial institutions. EPC applauds the House Financial Services Committee for holding retailers accountable for their broken promises.” Due to the amendment’s price controls, … Continue reading
In the United States, we’ve long had a free market system, but that system is not what it once was. Total government spending–state, federal, and local–has grown in real terms by more than 400 percent since 1965. Government spending is now one-third of the economy. As the private economy retreats, the importance of a new marketplace grows: the political marketplace. Products and services are no longer judged according to their usefulness to the economy at large–they’re judged according to whether or not they are politically useful or connected. The political marketplace is the marketplace of crony capitalism. Its supply and demand are lobbying expenditures and the resulting federal program or carve out. Its actors are not firms, but the political class and the politicians they influence. This won’t be anything new to people who have been following Washington over the years, but I do want to talk about a textbook … Continue reading
Rep. Budd: The Price Control On Debit Card Fees Hurts Consumers. This Week, Congress Is Fighting To Fix It.
Price controls have never worked. The 17th century Puritans tried them in the Massachusetts Bay Colony only to see them fail. They failed when the French tried them during their revolution in the 1790s. They failed when Richard Nixon tried them in the 1970s. And they failed when Jimmy Carter continued them. But government, like history, repeats itself, and in 2010, in the secrecy of the Dodd-Frank Conference Committee, we got the latest federal experiment in government price controls: the Durbin Amendment, a cap on the fees that banks charge merchants whenever a consumer uses a PIN number with a debit card. Continue Reading
What if I told you Congress was about to pass an amendment that could raise food prices, make it harder to find and maintain a free checking account, and enrich big box retailers who, despite an ongoing $8 billion annual windfall, are rapidly eliminating American jobs? I suspect most readers would be outraged, calling their representatives or lining up at town halls. Well that’s what they should be doing. But since Congress already enacted this bad idea, repeal is what consumers should be asking for. Continue Reading
In its letter, FSR thanked the House Financial Services Committee for its continued work to advance a more effective and resilient financial services sector that protects consumers and taxpayers, while also promoting economic growth. H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, is an important first step that will drive the process to improve the regulatory system and help promote economic growth. FSR supports the many provisions in this legislation that will help improve the regulatory system. We also look forward to working with the Committee and policymakers to refine aspects of this bill as it moves through Congress. Continue Reading View the full letter here.
Dear Chairman Hensarling: On behalf of the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), I write to express our appreciation for your leadership in crafting H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. H.R. 10 marks the first major step in the legislative process for the 115th Congress in bringing about much needed reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act and the financial regulatory environment. CBA is the voice of the retail banking industry whose products and services provide access to credit for consumers and small businesses. Our members operate in all 50 states, serve more than 150 million Americans, and collectively hold two-thirds of the country’s total depository assets. Continue Reading; full text below.
On Monday, NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt urged committee leaders to support the legislation and told them that maintaining the Durbin amendment repeal provision is important and that the association urges members to oppose any attempt to remove the provision from the bill. Continue Reading; full letter below.