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Sen. Durbin Defends Reform Despite New Bank Fees


Bank of America blames its new debit fee on the Durbin measure. Senator Durbin disagrees.

DICK DURBIN: Secondly, let me tell you something else. Retailers across America are finally going to get a break. They've been pushed by Bank of America and the biggest banks to pay swipe fees that are imposed on them, with no power of the retailer to even bargain. That has to come to an end.

CORNISH: We reached Senator Durbin this past week while Congress was in recess. He was on the road and Rock Island, Illinois. Durbin says at least the new rules are more transparent and they rein in what he views as excessive profit-taking on the part of big banks.

DURBIN: Incidentally, you know what the slight fee is for Visa and MasterCard for debit cards in Canada? It's zero. They don't charge anything. Forty-four cents a transaction in the United States.

CORNISH: Democratic Senator Dick Durbin speaking with us from the road in his home State of Illinois. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.