WASHINGTON – The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), representing more than 12,000 credit unions and community banks, trade associations, payment card networks and banks, submitted comments supporting the repeal of the Durbin Amendment in the Financial CHOICE Act.
Commending Chairman Hensarling for his leadership in addressing the overly burdensome and unfair price controls introduced by the Durbin Amendment, the EPC stated that the Durbin Amendment failed to deliver on its key promise, which was savings for consumers.
“The Durbin Amendment has adversely impacted low-income consumers because it resulted in raised banking costs and made debit a less desirable option…and negatively impacted small and community banks even though they were told they would not be harmed. Evidence of the Durbin Amendment’s failure is clear, and because of its negative impact on consumers, particularly low- and moderate-income consumers, and community banks and credit unions, it deserves to be repealed,” writes EPC Executive Director Molly Wilkinson.
Retailers continually fail to pass along their $36 billion windfall (and counting) to customers as promised. Repealing this amendment—which only serves to further the interests of big box retailers—will restore the free market in electronic payments for all customers.
The Durbin Amendment’s harmful effects on customers and especially lower-income customers are demonstrated by Todd Zywicki, George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. In his comments on the legislation, Zywicki writes, “The Durbin Amendment has proven to be one of the most destructive elements of Dodd-Frank for American consumers, especially lower and middle income consumers who have experienced an unprecedented loss of access to free checking accounts, higher bank fees, higher minimum requirements for access to free checking, and reduced bank services as a result.”
Zywicki continues, “Durbin Amendment’s price controls are consistent with centuries of economic learning regarding price controls, which invariably end up hurting low-income consumers the most by reducing their access to the financial services that provide the first rung on the ladder of financial inclusion in America.”
The EPC commends Professor Todd Zywicki for his scholarship and insightful look at the true consequences of the Durbin Amendment. Ending these harmful price controls would mean customers, community banks, credit unions and financial institutions of all sizes would see relief from an unprecedented case of the government overstepping its boundaries.
The provision of Chairman Hensarling’s Financial CHOICE Act calling for repeal of the Durbin Amendment and Representative Neugebauer’s stand-alone bill, H.R. 5465, repealing the Durbin Amendment are important steps towards protecting an innovative and dynamic electronic payments system. EPC applauds these congressional champions for their leadership to implement meaningful change that benefits all Americans.
EPC’s comments can be viewed at: https://epc1.wpengine.com/resource/epcs-letter-to-hfsc-on-durbin-amendment-repeal-in-financial-choice-act/.
Professor’s Zywicki’s comments can be viewed at: https://epc1.wpengine.com/resource/professor-zywickis-letter-on-the-financial-choice-act/.
About the Electronic Payments Coalition
The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) is a coalition of payments industry stakeholders, such as credit unions, community banks, trade associations, payment card networks and banks that speaks on behalf of the payments industry to protect the value, innovation, convenience, security and competition that exists in the modern electronic payments system. The EPC educates policymakers, consumers and the media on the system’s role in economic growth and the importance of consumer choice, security, innovation and stability for the continued growth of global commerce.