This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Debit Fee Cut Killing Bank Profits: Analysts (Update1)

Updated to include comments from Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Legislation known as the Durbin Amendment that limits fees banks can charge retailers on debit card transactions is proving more damaging than previously thought, according to analysts.

Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove cut earnings estimates for both Bank of America (BAC - Get Report)and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) on Tuesday, citing revenues lost to Durbin in both instances, among other issues.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D., IL)

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan downplayed the impact from Durbin in a presentation to investors on Tuesday, saying Bank of America's card services business "has recovered well," adding, "a few years ago, this was a business that had the biggest risk in it. It's recovered both from the recession, and also more lately, by the revenue lost to regulation. The revenue is largely behind us." Still, he acknowledged, "you will see the Durbin impact here in the fourth quarter results."

Rochdale's Bove was less sanguine.

"It no longer appears that the bank is going to recapture the funds lost to the Durbin Amendment. Capital Markets may produce less than expected investment banking revenue, and the various investment management businesses are producing less then hoped for," Bove wrote in his Bank of America report.

In the case of Wells Fargo, Bove cited "a more moderate view of the expense savings the company will achieve through its new cost cutting program," and added that "the key near term problem remains the Durbin Amendment. The company has yet to develop a solid response to re-acquire the revenues that will be lost to this punitive law."

In a Nov. 28 note, Stifel Nicholaus analyst Christopher Mutascio referred to Wells Fargo as "the only large cap bank under our coverage in which we and the consensus believe it can overcome the sequential-quarter negative ramifications of the lost debit interchange fees from the implementation of the Durbin Amendment."

Rochdale's Bove said he cut his estimates on Bank of America and Wells Fargo in response to presentations by chief executives at both banks at an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs. Citigroup (C) is scheduled to present at the market close on Tuesday, while JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) chief Jamie Dimon, perhaps the most outspoken critic against the Durbin bill, is set to address investors at the conference during a lunch on Wednesday.

Bove made no changes to his estimates following presentations by SunTrust Banks (STI - Get Report), PNC Financial (PNC) or Northern Trust (NTRS) on Tuesday.

A Nov. 23 report from Barclays Capital large cap banking analyst Jason Goldberg argued the Durbin amendment would cost banks he covers a combined $1.55 billion in revenues in the fourth quarter, with TCF Financial (TCB - Get Report), Regions Financial (RF - Get Report) Huntington Bancshares (HBAN - Get Report), SunTrust and Bank of America being the most heavily impacted (see accompanying chart).
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
BAC $14.35 -2.80%
HBAN $10.01 -1.80%
JPM $62.55 -1.90%
RF $9.24 -2.20%
TCB $13.27 -2.60%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,064.06 -17.37 -0.83%
NASDAQ 4,765.7860 -51.8080 -1.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs