Credit fees bill gaining momentum

John Dimsdale Apr 30, 2009
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Credit fees bill gaining momentum

John Dimsdale Apr 30, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: U.S. House today is likely to approve a bill that tackles credit card fees and interest rate hikes. It’s off to the Senate next. And indeed, what a difference a year makes. Under the Bush administration, the legislation went nowhere. Which means the banking industry is adjusting to a new reality. From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: Bankers oppose the limits on fees and interest rates. Scott Talbott with the Financial Services Roundtable says the bill would mean higher interest rates for many card users.

Scott Talbott: The bill will restrict the ability of the industry to tailor credit terms to each individual borrower.

The industry was able to block the bill last time, but supporters now have a powerful ally in the White House. And Scott Talbott knows that’s a big change.

Talbott: I think it gives the bill a huge boost and I would expect that a bill will pass the U.S. Congress and the president will sign a credit card bill into law within the next couple of weeks.

The industry may be resigned to the bill’s passage, but Travis Plunkett with the Consumer Federation of America says by raising interest rates, card issuers are adding to the bill’s momentum.

Travis Plunkett: The credit card industry seems to be trying to do things that they couldn’t do in the future. And their actions are actually leading Congress to act quicker.

Even if Congress doesn’t act, the Federal Reserve will impose many of the same rules by the middle of next year.

In Washington I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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