Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.,  on Monday said he would introduce legislation to immediately halt credit card issuers from raising interest rates on existing credit card balances, reports American Banker, a CardLine sister publication. Dodd's bill appears aimed at pressuring banks to comply with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act President Obama signed into law in May. A House bill the Financial Services Committee approved Thursday would advance the enforcement date for the law to Dec. 1 from Feb. 22 (CardLine, 10/22). Congress approved the Credit CARD Act to ban universal default, restrict card fees and make it more difficult for banks to raise rates on outstanding debt. But issuers already are developing strategies to avoid these restrictions, according to Dodd. "We worked long and hard to enact the safeguards included in the Credit CARD Act," Dodd said in a press release. "And no sooner had it been signed into law but credit card companies were looking for ways to get around the protections this Congress and the American people demanded. This bill would end those abuses and further protect customers today."

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