AFR Voices Support for Durbin Amendment in Letter to Congress

Read the pdf of our letter here.

March 30th, 2011

Dear Senator/Representative:

We write to express Americans for Financial Reform’s continued support for the Durbin swipe fee amendment which we supported and was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The current interchange system is uncompetitive, non-transparent and harmful to consumers. It is simply unjust to require less affluent Americans who do not participate in or benefit from the payment card or banking system to pay for excessive debit interchange fees that are passed through to the costs of goods and services. As a result, AFR does not support Congressional delay of implementation of the new law.

As you know, Americans for Financial Reform is an unprecedented coalition of over 250 national, state and local groups who have come together to reform the financial industry. Members of our coalition include consumer, civil rights, investor, retiree, community, labor, religious and business groups as well as prominent economists.

We oppose efforts to delay implementation of the Durbin amendment through Congressional action. The new law gives the Federal Reserve adequate authority it can use without delay to make sure that the debit interchange reimbursement financial institutions receive covers their legitimate, incremental costs for providing debit card services.

From a consumer point of view, the current interchange system is not defensible. Feeble competition in the payment card marketplace has led to unjustifiably high debit interchange fees that the poorest Americans, generally cash customers, are required to subsidize at the store and at the pump.

Thank you for your consideration of our views. If you or your staff have any questions, please contact Ed Mierzwinski at U.S. PIRG (202-461-3821 or


Americans for Financial Reform