Tuesday, May 19, 2009
STATEMENT BY CONSUMERS UNION
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today voted 90-5 to approve sweeping credit card reform legislation. Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, issued the following statement about the vote:
“We’re thrilled that this important piece of legislation was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. We credit the Senate for not falling for the banking industry’s empty arguments against the bill.
“Some credit card companies have raised the possibility of ending grace periods and charging new fees immediately. But according to the credit-card industry, one-third of credit card users – some 50 million Americans — pay their bills at the end of the month. Nothing would curtail the use of credit cards faster among those consumers than getting rid of grace periods and raising fees.
“The dirty little secret in the credit card industry is that the 50 million Americans who pay their credit card off at the end of the month are bad for their bottom line. They would like these folks to join the 100 million Americans who carry balances and get hit with abusive fees. The credit card industry would like nothing more than trap these customers in a similar cycle of debt. That is precisely what they have already been doing and will keep on doing until the government steps in and stops them.”
David Butler or Kristina Edmunson, 202-462-6262
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.