TCF Gains Ground in Debit-Card Fee Fight

According to the Star Tribune, the banking industry and some members of Congress are working to weaken, repeal, or delay a new set of restrictions proposed by the Federal Reserve-restrictions that prompted TCF to file a lawsuit late last year.

TCF Financial Corporation may be gaining ground in its fight against new federal restrictions governing debit-card fees.

Three months after TCF sued the Federal Reserve over proposed rules regarding fees that merchants pay banks when customers make debit-card transactions, the banking industry and some members of Congress are working to weaken, repeal, or delay the proposed restrictions, according to the Star Tribune.

The Minneapolis-based newspaper reported that banking industry lobbyists are saying that a number of congressional Republicans and Democrats have recently begun exploring alternatives to the Federal Reserve's proposal.

In its lawsuit, Wayzata-based TCF challenged the constitutionality of the Wall Street reform act's Durbin amendment, which limits the interchange fees that large banks can charge on debit-card transactions. The bank claimed that the limits wouldn't cover all of the costs that banks incur to manage the debit card system-and financial analysts have said that they expect banks to make up for that lost money by boosting other fees and modifying rewards programs.

Most banking lobbyists aren't expecting the Federal Reserve's proposal to be completely overturned, but there is increasing support for weakening the debit-card limit or delaying its implementation, according to the Star Tribune report.

The amendment and the recently proposed rules only apply to banks that have $10 billion or more in assets-a group that includes just 1 percent of banks in the United States.

To read the full Star Tribune report, click here.