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Fed Interchange Rules Assailed by Incoming House Financial Services Chair

Jan. 3, 2011

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the incoming chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, is urging the Fed to take a long look at proposed interchange rules before making them final. Bachus said in a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that a 9-month timeline stipulated by the Dodd-Frank Act is not enough to develop a fair regulatory regime. He claims the short timeframe the Fed is working under will result in "hastily written rules" which could have negative effects on competition and consumers. "Given the broad scope of this required rulemaking and the enormity of its potential impact on consumers and merchants alike, we doubt that such an extremely short timeframe will be sufficient to produce thorough and thoughtful final rules that consider the myriad perspectives of all affected parties," Bachus wrote. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the committee’s outgoing chairman, has also expressed doubt about the Fed’s proposals, calling the planned $.12 per transaction cap “too low.”



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