NEW YORK (
) -- Two U.S. House lawmakers will introduce legislation Wednesday to repeal financial regulation that caps debit-card swipe fees, arguing that such price controls hurt consumers and ultimately lead to
Bank of America
charging a monthly fee of $5 for debit-card purchases.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., UT) and Rep. Bill Owens (D., NY) said they seek to repeal the legislation under the Dodd Frank Act, known as the Durbin Amendment, which limits the fees banks can charge retailers for processing debit-card transactions to not more than 24 cents per share. Earlier banks charged an average of 44 cents. The rule went into effect on Oct.1.
Banks have said the rules will hurt their revenues and are looking for ways to offset the lost income, including charging customers for debit-card transactions.
Bank of America said recently that it will begin charging a monthly fee of $5 for to compensate for a potential loss of $2 billion annually. The move has customers
furious , threatening to take their business to credit unions.
Other banks including
are also setting new fees to make up the lost revenues.
"This is a perfect example of the dangers of price controls and the inefficiency of government intervention in the free market," said Chaffetz in a statement. "The Durbin Amendment is an affront to consumers and the banking industry. These legislatively enacted price controls have compelled banks to charge consumers higher (and in some cases new) fees to make up for lost revenue."
--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York
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