Statement by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
We are meeting today to review the final rule implementing the debit card interchange provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the enactment of Dodd-Frank. The Federal Reserve has been given substantial and important responsibilities under this act, and we have been working diligently to implement the statutory requirements under our purview.
The interchange rule we are considering this afternoon has been one of our most challenging rulemakings under Dodd-Frank to date. We received input from more than 11,000 commenters on our proposed rule. We have taken the time needed to review these comments carefully; they have been very helpful to us and the final rule reflects changes suggested by commenters.
Congress has directed the Board to accomplish a very difficult task. I believe the final rule gives careful consideration to the statutory language, the cost data available to us, and the complexities of the debit interchange payment system. The Board plans to monitor developments in the debit card market; that monitoring will include collecting and publishing data related to debit card costs and interchange fees. These data will help the Board, as well as issuers (both large and small), merchants, networks, consumers, and Congress assess whether the statute and the rule are effectively accomplishing their intended goals.
I know that staff members have spent significant time and effort on this rulemaking, and I want to commend them for their hard work and dedication.
I will now turn to Vice Chair Janet Yellen, who chairs the Board's Committee on Payments, Clearing, and Settlement, which has reviewed the staff's proposal.