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Washington
NAACP Delay interchange to assess consequences
WASHINGTON (3/14/11)—The NAACP, the well-known civil rights organization, wrote to the Speaker of the U.S. House urging that a congressional review be launched before the Federal Reserve Board acts to implement limits on debit card interchange fees. In the letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy Hilary Shelton wrote, “We believe this rule should be thoroughly and expeditiously reviewed prior to implementation to ensure that it will not raise fees or otherwise harm at-risk communities, including communities of color.” Shelton noted that his organization backed the Durbin credit card amendment, which was a late addition to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. He said the amendment carried “needed provisions aimed at protecting Americans against predatory lending and providing oversight of mortgage, lending and other critical financial services.” However, he wrote urging Boehner to slow the rulemaking process, “It is my understanding no conclusive studies have been offered to fully predict the impact of this (interchange) rule.” “Given the complexity of the issues, we believe that it should be further examined fully to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on the communities it was meant to help.” Shelton outlined many of the complex issues surrounding the interchange plan proposed by the Fed, among them Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s February testimony that a planned exemption for any issuer under $10 billion in assets “may still leave our smaller community banks and credit unions at a significant disadvantage.


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