Legislation to Undo Swipe Reform a Gift to Those Responsible for Economic Disaster

Mar 15, 2011, 12:15 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

Tester Bill Latest Wall Street Bailout

ARLINGTON, Va., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the introduction of legislation to reopen critical reforms of the debit payments market.  Legislation was introduced today by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).  The bipartisan reforms signed into law a year ago, and scheduled to go into effect July 21, will bring competition and fairness to the broken debit system and save consumers billions.

"Despite the American people's repeated disapproval of bank bailouts, the Tester bill is just that, this time at the expense of retailers and their consumers," said Katherine Lugar, executive vice president for public affairs.

"The past three years have been defined by the economic hardship caused by big bank recklessness and the $700 billion in taxpayer dollars used to bail them out.  Yet, just as merchants and their consumers are about to finally see relief from the excessive debit card fees associated with the broken debit market, the biggest banks have launched a full scale campaign to take it away.

"The bipartisan swipe fee reforms signed into law last year will bring fairness and competition to the broken debit market and will save consumers billions by ending decades of price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard.

"We urge Senators and Members of Congress to stand up for merchants and consumers and leave swipe fee reform alone."

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies.  RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association