Obama Clamps down on Credit Card Companies

23 Apr

Ramping up his campaign to crack down on credit cards, President Obama met Thursday with more than a dozen executives of card-issuing companies to press his case for new consumer protections.

Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and others met with executives of leading financial institutions like Visa (V, Fortune 500), American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Mastercard (MA, Fortune 500), Capital One (COF, Fortune 500), and several big banks like Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500).

The White House meeting came a day after credit card legislation opposed by the financial services industry moved forward on Capitol Hill. The House Financial Services Committee voted 48-19 to approve a bill to clamp down on rates and fees; nine Republicans joined the panel’s Democrats in voting for it.

The House bill would, among other things, ban "arbitrary" interest rate increases, prohibit excessive fees and order more disclosure. It could go to the full House for a vote as soon as next week.

Prior to his meeting, Obama outlined several principles that he urged Congress to pass, including a ban of unfair rate increases and penalties, clarity in terms and conditions, requiring all companies to make contract terms accessible and more oversight of the industry.

 

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