The Federal Reserve will not meet an April 21 deadline for issuing a final rule cracking down on the fees banks charge merchants when a debit card is used, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a letter to US lawmakers on Tuesday.
The reduction in fees is required under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
Bernanke said the Fed needs more time to analyze the more than 11,000 comment letters it received, but is committed to having a final rule in place by July 21 when the limit is supposed to go into effect.
The short delay could prove a reprieve for banks and card companies if they can use it to convince Congress that a longer delay is needed to study the rule, or a change to the law is needed.
"It's a win for the banks and the various entities that were trying to introduce changes in the law," said Tom Layman, a former chief economist for Visa who now runs the payments consulting firm Global Vision Group. Bank industry groups were quick to renew their calls for
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