Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) May 05, 2011
American Family Voices, a non-profit advocate for middle and low-income families on economic, health care, and consumer issues, today launched a Web campaign condemning Rep. Kenny Marchant's (R-TX) effort to repeal meaningful reforms aimed at benefiting Texas consumers and small businesses. Visit http://www.bigbankbailout.com for more info.
Rep. Marchant co-sponsored H.R.1081 legislation sponsored by Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV) that would undo reforms passed a year ago to bring fairness and competition to the broken debit market.
“Last year Congress stood up for consumers and small businesses and now Rep. Marchant wants to take it all away,” said Mike Lux, President of American Family Voices. “Businesses and consumers, particularly those struggling to make ends meet, are just months away from getting long overdue relief from these excessive big bank fees. Rep. Marchant and his colleagues in Congress should stand up for Main Street, not Wall Street, and leave swipe-fee reform alone. The Big Bank Bailouts need to stop.”
The reforms, which passed with broad bipartisan support last year, address the lack of competition in the debit market, where Visa and MasterCard centrally set the prices that the big banks charge merchants every time a debit card is swiped. These fees, which have exploded to $20 billion annually, are for most small businesses the second-highest cost of doing business. These fees unfortunately translate into higher prices for consumers.
The reforms bring fairness to the broken system by requiring that the Federal Reserve ensure that the fees are “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of the transaction. A study conducted by the Federal Reserve found that these fees cost merchants on average $0.44 on ever transaction, while the actual cost is roughly $0.04. Because 70 percent of all swipe fees are collected by the 10 largest banks, the reforms narrowly focus reforms on those institutions at the root of the problem. Swipe-fee reform exempted all banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets, meaning more than 99 percent of all banks will experience no change whatsoever. See http://www.bigbankbailout.com for more details.
Swipe Fee Facts:
H.R. 1081 and S.575 Re. Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
To see the TV campaign and Web video, visit http://www.bigbankbailout.com.
To see Rep. Marchant Video visit http://www.bigbankbailout.com/opponents/marchant_tx24