Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

NEA Sides With Big Banks on Debit Card Fees

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Mar• 22•11

One would think the National Education Association has its hands full these days, but the union still has time to weigh in on the intricacies of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Enacted during Democratic control of Congress, the law, among many other things, capped debit card “swipe fees” at 12 cents per transaction, which was a huge reduction from the average. The financial services industry naturally opposes the caps, which reduces its profits.

The NAACP asked that the fee cap be delayed for one or two years, while a study is done to determine if banks will cut back services in response. The civil rights organization says it is concerned that such reductions may adversely affect the poor and minority groups. Now NEA is also lobbying for the delay, sending a letter to Congressional leaders warning of the cap’s “unintended consumer impacts.”

This isn’t sitting too well with some liberals. David Dayen at Firedoglake calls NEA’s stance “corrupt” and “about self-interest, too.” NEA has a business relationship with Bank of America but does not offer debit cards.

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