Durbin to the American Bankers Association: "A Defeat Is Not the Same as a Mistake"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Frank Keating, President and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA), today to set the record straight about swipe fee reform. The letter was in response to a missive the ABA sent to congressional leaders last week calling swipe fee reform a “mistake.”


“Last week you sent a letter to the United States Congress in which you criticize the debit interchange reform law that Congress enacted as a ‘mistake[],’” Durbin wrote. “While the banking industry may resent that its enormous lobbying effort did not produce a different outcome, a defeat is not the same as a mistake.”


“Main Street businesses all across America that were previously being crushed by ever-rising debit swipe fees are now seeing real relief.  This relief has been achieved without any significant negative impact on the small banks and credit unions that were exempted from interchange regulation –in fact, these small financial institutions have been thriving since reform took effect.  Many consumers have been able to receive discounts for buying products such as gasoline and airline tickets with their debit cards, and many more have benefitted as merchants have been able to keep prices down as a result of lower interchange costs.  Far from being a mistake, debit interchange reform is showing real results.”


Durbin’s full letter to the ABA is attached. The ABA’s letter to Congressional leaders is also attached.