SAYEGH: Three years of Dodd-Frank’s broken promises
The Durbin Amendment to Dodd-Frank, which was introduced on the Senate floor at the behest of large retailers, with no hearings and little debate. It ordered the Federal Reserve Bank to fix the rates banks and debit-card companies could charge for electronic transactions. We now know the Durbin Amendment has not only failed to save consumers money, as Sen. Richard J. Durbin promised, but is harming consumers. How? Banks that depended on the per-charge fees (known as interchange fees) were forced to eliminate other customer services such as free checking and begin charging customers holding smaller account balances. The number of large banks that offer free checking has declined from 96 percent in 2009 to 35 percent in 2011. Politico reports that “the savings which were to be passed to consumers from the retailers post-Durbin Amendment continue to be mostly theoretical.” Even the bill’s lead sponsor, the liberal Democrat Mr. Frank from Massachusetts, has admitted the Durbin Amendment has failed consumers and should be repealed.