In a letter to community bankers, ICBA president and CEO Camden R. Fine writes about the Durbin Amendment’s harmful impacts and calls for the policy to be repealed.
We knew this was going to happen. When Congress passed the Durbin amendment, ICBA and community bankers said government price controls on debit interchange fees would dramatically harm our industry. Now we are witnessing the unfortunate effects of this retailer-promoted government intervention in the payments marketplace. It is time for community bankers to rise up and urge Congress to include a Durbin amendment repeal in the highly anticipated 2017 Financial CHOICE Act, scheduled to be introduced soon by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).
Federal Reserve data show that Durbin price controls have eroded community bank interchange revenues. Per-transaction fees on signature transactions were down 4.4 percent between January 2011 and October 2015 for small issuers, while fees on PIN transactions were down 19.6 percent. The data also show that authorization, clearing and settlement costs at community banks and other low-volume institutions are 17 times higher per transaction than those for high-volume card issuers.