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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Exempt banks raised fees more

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There is simply no truth to Tony Sayegh's analysis of debit-card swipe-fee reform ("Three years of Dodd-Frank's broken promises," Commentary, May 31).

Just last week, the Federal Reserve said that, since the Durbin Amendment, small banks exempt from debit-card reform have collected higher debit fees than big banks. In fact, debit fees per transaction for exempt banks are the same as they were before debit reform. This echoes earlier findings from the Government Accountability Office and Federal Trade Commission, as well as prior Federal Reserve studies.

When it comes to checking-account fees, the data shows there is no relationship to swipe fees. Swipe fees tripling over the past decade didn't result in consumer checking fees getting cut by a similar amount. In fact, surveys show just the opposite, with swipe fees and checking-account fees increasing in tandem for six years in a row.

Since the passage of the Durbin Amendment, data collected by shows that big banks (the only ones affected by the new limits on debit-card swipe fees) did not raise their checking fees as much as the small banks that are exempt from debit reform.

Saying something over and over again doesn't make it true. It's time for the banks to stop peddling arguments that are so clearly false.


Senior vice president for government

and public affairs

Food Marketing Institute


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