You are here
In an attempt to halt "deceptive practices" by some credit card companies and make it easier for consumers to understand terms and rates, President Barack Obama will bring executives of credit card companies to the White House for a meeting Thursday to discuss those issues, according to Obama administration spokesman Robert Gibbs.
The administration is concerned about "deceptive practices that are involved, some of the outrageous fees that are charged," Gibbs told Bloomberg News. "The president believes we can increase the transparency involved and cut down on these deceptive practices and ensure that any system involving fees is done in a way that is fair."
A list of the companies attending the meeting was unavailable, the report said.
"The administration and, I think, the public in general would be happy" if the credit-card companies voluntarily changed their practices, Gibbs added.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" program Sunday, Lawrence Summers, director of Obama's National Economic Council, said the president is "very focused" on "the way people have been deceived into paying extraordinarily high interest rates that they wouldn't have paid if they knew what that they were getting themselves into."
Better financial regulation and efforts to block the marketing of "addictive" credit to people will help reduce the amount of debt owed by consumers, he said.
In a letter sent yesterday to Summers, FMI president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin expressed the grocery industry’s support of the White House meeting “to rein in credit card company practices,” and urged that credit-card interchange fees be discussed.
“In the end, all consumers pay these [interchange] fees -- whether they pay by plastic, cash or check -- because card company rules effectively force retailers to build them into the price of all goods and services,” noted Sarasin who, in common with Gibbs, called such actions “outrageous.” She additionally offered to provide Summers with further information on the interchange fee issue.