Bloomberg News

Treasury’s Wolin Says Card-Fee Caps Don’t Hurt U.S. Economy

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said caps on debit-card “swipe” fees mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law don’t hurt the economy.

“There is no evidence” the rules have “any real effect on the macroeconomy,” Wolin said in an interview with CNBC today. “It is one provision among many.”

The Federal Reserve imposed rules Oct. 1 limiting the fees card networks charge merchants to 21 cents per transaction, about half what retailers had been paying. In response, lenders including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. have been rolling out new charges for debit customers to make up some of the $8 billion the largest banks may lose under the rules.

Some Republicans, including Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus, who leads the House Financial Services Committee, are asking for an overhaul of Dodd-Frank, which they say hurts businesses.

--Editors: Kevin Costelloe, Carlos Torres

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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