Main Street Businesses Question Bank of America's Reported Losses; Find Swipe Fee Reform is Good for Merchants & Consumers

Oct 19, 2010, 10:08 ET from Merchants Payments Coalition

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Merchants Payments Coalition, representing 2.7 million U.S. businesses with 50 million employees, released the statement below in response to Bank of America's claims today of a third quarter net loss of $7.3 billion that they attribute to credit and debit card swipe fee reform.

"With a Federal Reserve decision on debit interchange rates not expected until mid-2011, today's claims by Bank of America dramatically overstate reality and represent a feeble attempt to divert attention from its mortgage foreclosure problems," said Doug Kantor, counsel to the Merchants Payments Coalition.

In July, Bank of America said their annual debit revenue was $2.9 billion and that it could fall by $1.8 to $2.3 billion per year starting in the third quarter of 2011.  Today's earnings report condenses more than four years' worth of the possible losses into a single report.

"For small merchants across America, the losses they face at the hands of Bank of America and the credit card industry are real and not estimated.   The size of the hidden swipe fees that Bank of America and others charge is truly staggering.  The Durbin amendment, passed by Congress earlier this year to fix the broken debit payments market, is the first step towards small business owners and consumers getting relief from these hidden fees.  Everyone should welcome the time next year when small businesses and their customers will begin to save on the billions of dollars in fees that the nation's largest banks have swiped from their pockets for more than a decade," added Kantor.

The Merchants Payments Coalition is a group of retailers, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, fuel stations, on-line merchants and other businesses who are fighting against unfair credit card fees and fighting for a more competitive and transparent card system that works better for consumers and merchants alike. The coalition's member associations collectively represent about 2.7 million stores with approximately 50 million employees.  For more information about credit card swipe fees, please visit http://www.UnfairCreditCardFees.com.

SOURCE Merchants Payments Coalition