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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama yesterday pledged to provide greater protections to consumer credit card users after meeting with leading executives of credit card issuing companies. However, his message contained no balm for retailers, especially convenience store operators, who are seeking a legislative remedy to the problem of skyrocketing credit card transaction fees.
"I trust that those in the industry who want to act responsibly will engage with us in a constructive fashion, and that we're going to get this done in short order," said Obama, according to an Associated Press report yesterday.
Both the House and Senate are pursuing bills to give consumers greater protections. Obama said his economic advisers will examine the various proposals and work with Congress and the credit card industry. He said he intends to sign a law to protect consumers, while not imposing rules that would make it harder for banks to offer credit or that would put credit out of reach for borrowers.
According to the report, the president said he is seeking:
-- Protections so that consumers won't face sudden, surprising jumps in fees;
-- Requirements that companies publish their forms in plainspoken language, without fine print;
-- The availability of customer-friendly comparison shopping on credit-card offers; and,
-- Greater enforcement so that violators feel the "full weight" of the law.
-- Credit Card Cos., Obama to Discuss Practices -- April 22, 2009
-- FMI Decries Credit Card Interchange Fee Increases -- April 19, 2009
-- Visa, MasterCard Plan Processing Fee Hikes -- March 31, 2009