The latest statement sent out by Rep. Barney Frank focuses on the need to usher in the credit card Bill earlier this year. The Credit Card Bill was scheduled to be implemented February 2010, giving banks a grace period during which they would implement changes to cope with the effects that the bill would have on their operations. The major change here entails the limitation of freedom that banks would have regarding when and how they would hike their interest rates.
The credit card industry has been receiving a lot of slams during the past few months, with much focus on the practices of banks and lenders when it comes to hiking interest rates. More importantly, it has been observed how the current policies of banks involving hiking interest rates are far from consumer-friendly, where the consumer bears the brunt of the burden and the banks and lenders are enjoying higher interest rates at the expense of their customers. This is precisely why the Credit Card Bill was formulated, to control the freedom of banks and lenders to increase their interest rates whenever they want to.
However, Rep. Frank has expressed his observations as to how banks and lenders have been abusing this grace period that the Congress has provided them. Abuse here takes the form of banks hiking interest rates today, to offset the upcoming limitations brought about by the implementation of the Credit Card Bill this February 2010. As a result, the tough, liberal Rep. Frank is now pushing to implement the bill much earlier, with his eyes set on implementing it this December 2009.
Rep. Frank expresses concern about how waiting for this kind of protection for the consumers would just defeat the purpose of the implementation of the bill itself. If the credit industry would still wait this out, chances are, banks and lenders will have implemented atrocious interest rates long before we reach February 2010.
Furthermore, Frank indicates that he is open to the idea of the government providing relief to the merchants who have to pay heavy fees to their respective banks so that they can accept credit cards from their consumers. The hearing also tackled Rep. Peter Welch's statement of support for the regulation of those fees. The hearing also featured the testimony of Kathy Miller, who owns a grocery store located in Elmore, Vermont. Miller expresses how strained her business has been because of the high fees she has to deal with, which are fees required by credit companies themselves.
With this sudden turn of events, Rep. Frank clearly states that there is a need to enact the bill earlier than planned, placing emphasis on how this would protect American consumers even more.