Community Bankers Association of Illinois


Dear CBAI Member,

Tomorrow (July 16th), the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is likely to mark up legislation entitled "The Credit Card Fair Fee Act." This legislation (HR 5546) would impose government price controls on the debit and credit card interchange system. If enacted, it could cost a single community bank $85,000 per year in lost interchange revenues in its debit card program alone.

Your help is needed today to contact Representative Luis Gutierrez, the only Illinois Representative on the House Judiciary Committee, to urge him to oppose this harmful legislation!

Here are some talking points:

    This bill is a sweetheart deal for the largest retailers in our country and will harm consumers and community banks.

    This legislation would give retailers such as Wal-Mart an exemption to antitrust laws. This exemption would allow retailers to set up special card acceptance deals with the largest issuers in our country and effectively discourage consumers from carrying a community bank debit or credit card.

    This bill also establishes a government rate-setting board that will impose price controls, but even if this board is removed, this bill creates an untenable market situation for community banks.

    Proponents of this legislation are billing it as consumer friendly; however, we know that any savings from this legislation will not be passed on to consumers but will be used to further line the pockets of these giant corporations.

This legislation is unworkable for community bankers, who will be left behind. Multi-billion dollar retailers will cut special deals with multi-billion dollar issuers and crush the vibrant competitive marketplace that exists today.

You can register your opposition to the interchange legislation in the House Judiciary Committee by calling or e-mailing Representative Gutierrez or his Judiciary staff person, Greg Staff at 202/225-8203 or

If you have any questions please call Kraig Lounsberry or Megan Stieren at 800/736-2224.
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