HR 3639 to move up implementation of CARD Act to 12/1/2009 passed House Financial Services Committee just now on voice vote. Bernanke's letter was read into the Committee debate without effect. HR 3639 now goes onto the entire House of Representatives.
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Credit Card Bill Includes ICBA-Advocated Exemption for Small Issuers
Following vigorous ICBA congressional outreach, the House Financial Services Committee approved an amendment that would exempt small issuers from legislation speeding up effective dates of new credit card regulations, representing a significant concession for community banks.
The ICBA-advocated amendment to the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act (H.R. 3639), which was approved by the committee, would exempt credit card issuers with fewer than 2 million credit cards in circulation from having to meet the Dec. 1, 2009, effective date included in the legislation. Instead, community bank issuers would face the Feb. 22, 2010, and Aug. 22, 2010, effective dates already required by the Credit CARD Act.
The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), recognizes that community banks do not engage in the misleading practices targeted by these bills. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that moving up the effective date would result in unintended consequences, particularly for smaller issuers.