Fed May Reconsider Plan to Limit Debit Card Fees


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is telling Congress it may reconsider its proposal to limit the fee that banks charge merchants for debit card transactions to 12 cents per swipe.

The financial overhaul bill that President Barack Obama and Congress enacted last summer ordered the Fed to issue rules that would set the fees at a reasonable rate. Currently, merchants typically pay between 1 and 2 percent of the transaction's total.

The question of where to set the fees has triggered an intense lobbying battle pitting merchants and some consumer groups against banks and credit card networks.

In testimony prepared for delivery to the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin says because the issue is so complex, the Fed is "reserving judgment" until it gathers more information.

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