Falling Short Again – Stop Banks From Charging More Fees

Target:  Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, U.S. Congress

Goal: Stop banks from charging additional fees for debit card use.  Regulate bank fees so that additional costs are not imposed on the already overcharged consumer.

It’s not surprising that banks and credit unions have found yet another way to squeeze additional dollars out of their customers.  Despite their already high level of profitability, there seems to be no end to the greed and abuse pervasive in the banking industry.  Sadly, the middle class bears the brunt of the burden once again.

The Durbin Amendment – a last minute addition to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – demonstrated interest on the part of Congress in regulating banking fees.  Under the amendment, the amount merchants would be charged by financial institutions for processing debit card transactions would be capped.  The originally proposed cap was 7-12 cents per swipe, plus a percentage of the transaction.  Lobbyists for banks and credit unions rattled off a list of network transaction costs, fraud protections and other alleged costs involved in this convenience afforded consumers, and their voices were heard, resulting in a higher cap (21 cents per transaction, plus a percentage of the transaction).  Now they can comfortably keep the bulk of the roughly $3 billion collected from merchants, of which much is pure profit.

In addition, opponents of the amendment argued that merchants who save money on transaction fees would likely pass on these savings to the consumer.  To date, there is no across-the-board plan to do so.

Adding insult to injury, as the October 1 effective date nears, banks, such as Bank of America, have announced a new monthly fee which will be assessed on those using a debit card.  Exploitation of the consumer is baffling as banks are afforded the opportunity to double dip on fees, charging both the merchants and card users.

Please sign the petition below and urge our legislators to enact effective legislation which prevents the continued consumer abuse meted out by our financial institutions.


Dear Chairman Bernanke and Members of U.S. Congress,

Yet again, financial institutions in the U.S. have created new fees – this time for debit card use – which will hurt Americans financially.  The Durbin Amendment was an opportunity for you to protect merchants and consumers from inappropriately high transaction fees.  Unfortunately, by only addressing one avenue of charges, it served to further enable financial institutions to collect fees which will ensure their billions of dollars in profits are collected legally.  Sadly, the voices and issues raised by bank and credit union lobbyists were heard over those of your constituents, the American people.

It’s time to create effective, regulatory laws that complete the mission originally intended by The Durbin Amendment.  If economic recovery is to occur, unreasonable and arbitrary fees levied by financial institutions must be stopped. Please protect the consumer, rather than giving in to Big Business once again.


[Your Name Will Go Here]

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One Comment

  1. Another way around the system to profit from the U.S. consumer.

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52 Signatures

  • Nikki Owen
  • Nikki Owen
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  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
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