Credit Card Regulation–a Chance to Have Your Say?
Credit Card News: Regulator Wants Your Views
According to yesterday’s Washington Post: “the Federal Reserve wants to know what consumers think” about its latest proposals for future credit card regulation, which it published earlier this month. These cover credit card rates, fees, terms, etc. The Fed wants your views? Yeah, right.
Navigating the Fed’s web site is never easy, but finding a way to comment on the new proposals defeated this writer completely. True, it’s not too hard to find a press release that says: “Comments on the proposal must be submitted within 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.” And that press release has a link to a dense, 43-page Federal Register PDF extract on the proposed credit card rules. But, personally, finding a way actually to comment proved impossible.
Credit Card Consumer Consultation in Action
So it was back to the Post to learn:
If you want to comment on the proposals, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Docket No. R-1384” in the subject line. You can also comment by fax to 202-452-3819; remember to include the docket number. Comments must be received on or before April 14.
Very consumer-friendly. A cynic might almost wonder if the Fed really wants to hear from those who actually use credit cards, or whether it would rather just receive comments from the credit card companies’ lawyers.
Credit Card Companies Fed’s Priority?
Such cynics can be found among the New York Times’s editorial staff. The paper carried a leader Monday that said: “The Fed has a long history of putting the credit card industry first and consumers far behind, and a draft of the rules released this month is disturbingly weak.”
And the Times isn’t alone in thinking that the Fed’s ties to credit card companies are too close. Earlier this month, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who is chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued a statement in which he said:
I do not support housing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency in the Federal Reserve. I continue to vigorously support the House-passed bill that establishes an independent agency with strong rule-writing authority and enforcement powers to implement consumer protections… My main objection to housing this critical function in the Federal Reserve has been the central bank’s historical failure to implement consumer protection as a central part of its mission and role.
Have Your Say on Credit Cards
If you want to have your say on credit card rates, terms, fees, and so on, the Consumers Union can help. Its creditcardreform.org site has a form that allows you easily to submit your views to the Fed.
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