April 18, 2022

NAFCU notes hypocrisy of lawmakers who call for new cuts in interchange fees

moneyA group of four lawmakers Friday sent Visa and Mastercard a letter requesting they withdraw plans to raise credit and debit card fees. Signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Tex.), the Members of Congress claimed the fee increases would add to inflationary pressures that would burden American consumers. 

In response to the letter, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger noted the hypocrisy of criticizing the adjustments in interchange fees now under the guise of helping consumers, when the lawmakers have done nothing over the last decade to repeal the Durbin amendment despite numerous studies showing merchants never passed interchange savings on to consumers, which is contrary to promises by Durbin amendment supporters that consumers would benefit.  

“If lawmakers are so interested in helping American consumers, why haven’t they looked at merchants’ failure to pass the savings along to consumers that were promised in the Durbin amendment? Multiple studies have shown that consumers have not benefitted from this failed policy,” said Berger. “Many big retailers have enjoyed profits from this market manipulation while they and their allies try to continue to distort the competitive landscape further with government intervention in the free market.”

NAFCU will continue to work with Congress to protect American consumers and push for legislation that provides far-reaching regulatory relief for credit unions.