Banks move to cap Debit Card spending to protect profits

A story coming out of CNN Money and caught the attention of my friend Jane Gaffin’s attention the other day.  Her comment prefacing the links she sent me was:

Still Have Your Money In A Bank? Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me?

Case in point:

Debit cards: $50 spending limit coming?

(That’s not enough to pay for a couple’s lunch much less new boots for
self or the dog!)

Curious about what she was talking about, I headed over to the CNN story to see for myself.

Near as I can tell, the Big Banks, reeling from all those bailout dollars flooding their institutions, have decided they need to protect their profits from those asshole legislators who dared institute a plan to slash the fees the Big Banks charge to retailers every time you swipe your debit card.

According to the CNN story:

Why? Because of a tricky thing called interchange fees.

Right now, every time you swipe your debit card your bank charges the retailer an average fee of 44 cents, which it shares with its partners. Those little fees, however, add up to about $16 billion per year, according to 2009 data from the Federal Reserve.

But as part of the Wall Street reform legislation that was passed last year, these fees are being slashed. The Fed is currently proposing rules that would go into effect in July and would cap interchange fees at 12 cents.

That’s a big enough cut to cost Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) more than $1 billion a year. And Chase may not be alone. Other major issuers are also projecting huge losses from the interchange fee cap.

Seems bailing out the Big Banks… saving them from their own greed and stupidity wasn’t enough.

Now they’re looking at introducing additional fees on debit cards and checking accounts.  The plans are already being tested in select states.

Naturally, Chase Bank spokesmorons “declined to comment“.

To try and help out, CNN wrote a story called “The 8 Least Evil Banks“, which lists a few banks that were less evil than the Big Banks.

It’s an interesting list.

Over at there is an interesting video you might want to watch… it’s Catherine Austin Fitts on “The Looting of America” by the banking system.

Even if you love your bank (which means you’re probably delusional, at best!) you’re going to want to watch this video.

Just below the video on that page are some related links… for those feeling brave (or just those whose brain isn’t hurting yet) those links are worth perusing as well.


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