Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2023)—With Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) working to attach their controversial credit card routing restrictions to the pending National Defense Authorization Act, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today released new polling results showing voters oppose the policy change.
“ICBA and the nation’s community banks strongly oppose the introduction of controversial legislation to create new credit card routing restrictions — and new polling shows U.S. voters are likewise concerned about the harm it would pose to Main Street community banks,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Applying routing restrictions to credit card transactions would reduce access to credit card services in local communities, weaken cybersecurity protections, and end popular credit card rewards programs solely to benefit large retailers like Amazon and Walmart. We call on every member of Congress to join us in opposing this anti-consumer legislation, including attempts to pass it via the National Defense Authorization Act.”
The Credit Card Competition Act (S. 1838/H.R. 3881) — introduced in the House by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Lance Gooden (R-Texas) — would allow merchants to process credit card transactions based solely on which network offers the lowest cost for them while stripping consumers of their right to choose their preferred credit card network. The policy change would require all banks — including community banks — to subsidize the costly changes it would impose on the payments system.
New ICBA polling conducted by Morning Consult found voter opposition to the policy change. According to the polling:
Two-thirds of voters (66%) say requiring a change to credit card transaction technology is risky.
Most voters say changing the technology that credit card servicers currently use would negatively affect the economy (62%), inflation (60%), and consumer spending power (57%).
Further, voters expressed continued support for the community banking business model, which would be harmed by the proposed credit card routing restrictions. According to the polling:
Voters overwhelmingly prefer (62%) a community banking model that utilizes a long-term outlook that promotes safety and soundness over generations, rather than a short-term outlook that maximizes quarterly earnings for investors.
61% of voters say smaller community-based banks should not be penalized for the actions of the largest and riskiest banks, such as Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York.
53% of voters say the best banking model for consumers is personal relationships with a bank based in their communities.
The latest results follow ICBA polling conducted by Morning Consult last year indicating consumers oppose the policy change, with 61% of Americans saying consumers would not benefit from overhauling the card networks, including a bipartisan majority of Democrats (52%), Independents (67%), and Republicans (65%).
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding nearly $5.9 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.