Durbin Documents Foul on Final Debit Interchange Rules

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

In a friend-of-the-court brief in support of retailers’ lawsuit filed against the Federal Reserve’s Regulation II, Senator Richard Durbin comes out swinging in a “let me be clear” analysis of the final rules.

He votes an unequivocal “no” on the final rate (based on costs not allowed in the regulation), the fraud adjustment (based on costs, not effectiveness), and network exclusivity (doesn’t allow sufficient room for PIN networks to participate as signature tranasaction routing methods). As the original amendment’s author, this brief carries some additional weight with it and attempts to help the court interpret the intent of the rule in the Senator’s own words. Its conclusion is to declare Regulation II invalid and require the Federal Reserve to rewrite the rules.

“In its efforts to accommodate the banks, the board’s Final Rule failed in several respects to follow the law. As the plaintiffs have correctly argued, the board’s final rule making exceeded the statutory authority that Congress gave the board,” Durbin argued in the brief.

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