Nicole Ciandella, 202-331-2773
Washington, D.C., June 8, 2011 – This afternoon, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a bipartisan measure from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to delay the Durbin Amendment from Dodd-Frank. The Durbin Amendment puts price controls on the interchange fees that banks and credit unions can charge retailers to process debit card transactions. Should this pass, it will be the first major rollback for a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul that passed last year.
In the blog post below on CEI's OpenMarket.org, CEI's John Berlau reiterates his previous warnings that due to the Durbin price controls, consumers will lose free checking and card rewards as the costs of processing debit card transactions are forcibly transfered from retailers to consumers. But, noting alarming developments such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's statement that the price controls could cause small banks to fail, Berlau notes also that the retailer lobby may be shooting itself in its collective foot. "Retailers themselves are going to be among the casualties of this war as the debit card system slows down and even breaks down due to the ill-effects of the Durbin price controls."
Berlau will watching the Senate closely and will be able to give his insights before, after, or during the vote. He may be reached directly at his cell at (202) 415-3192.