Retail Groups Sue Federal Reserve Over Debit-Fee Rules

Editor’s Note:  Retailers are moving from rent-seeking, i.e., gaming the regulatory system for personal gain, to Regulation by Litigation.

From: Supemarket News

WASHINGTON — Three industry associations, including Food Marketing Institute, filed a lawsuit in federal court here last week saying the Federal Reserve failed to follow the requirements of last year’s sweeping financial reforms when it set a cap on debit-card interchange fees this year.


Retailers Sue for More Stringent Price Controls

Editor’s Note:  Retailers may want to consider the implications of their demand for yet more stringent price controls on debit cards, federal action may not stop where they want.

Retail Groups Sue Fed Over New Debit Card Rules for Banks

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve was sued by retailer groups over new regulations governing so-called swipe fees, claiming the Fed disregarded the law when deciding how much banks can charge merchants for debit-card transactions.


Scant savings on ‘swipe’ fees for Charlotte retailers

From: Charlotte Business Journal

Adam O’Daniel

At the Common Market deli and corner store, owner Chuck Barger admits debit-card interchange or “swipe” fees are difficult to understand, even after months of banks screaming about new rules governing the charges.

And he was left scratching his head this week when asked about how the controversial Durbin amendment would effect his South End store off South Tryon Street.

“I don’t really see any savings,” Barger says.

There may not be any savings to see. As the first debit-card processing-fee statements since new regulations took effect begin to arrive in retailers’ mailboxes, merchants might be disappointed, experts say.


Next Target: All Interchange

Editor’s Note:  The lessons from price controls on debit interchange — consumers lose  — has apparently not been learned. 


SIGMA, other groups set sights on further fee reductions

By Steve Holtz

WASHINGTON Even as efforts are made to repeal debit-card-fee reform, SIGMA and other retail groups hope to carry the momentum of that historic lobbying effort to make similar changes to credit-card and other interchange fees in the near future.

“The banks’ great hope is that this will be applied only to ‘cards’,” said Tim Columbus, legal counsel for SIGMA, during the SIGMA Annual Meeting in Washington this past weekend.


With Debit Card Fees D.O.A., Expect More Checking Fees

From: American Banker

Call it a defeat for banks, a publicity debacle, or a whole lot of hollering for no good reason. Whatever your read on the brief life of the debit card usage fee, its demise is just a prelude to more checking fees at the major banks.

Higher account maintenance fees are inevitable, because basic, relatively low-balance checking accounts are simply not profitable on their own. Despite the widely circulated allegation that banks are raking in money from regular consumer accounts, industry groups, analysts, and available data suggest that such accounts are money losers without overdraft fees or extremely high-margin interchange charges. This problem is worse for the major banks, which have higher overhead.