Fed Close to OK'ing Credit Card Relief

Thursday vote may ban surprise interest rate hikes, fees
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Dec 14, 2008 7:27 PM CST
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks in this Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008 file photo, at the Federal Reserve in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, FILE)
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(Newser) – The Federal Reserve is poised to hand credit card companies a long-awaited blow this week, Reuters reports. A vote on Thursday is expected to approve 1,000 pages of consumer protections, including bans on surprise rate hikes and fees. Companies say the changes will force higher rates, but with Democrats gaining greater control of Congress, many consider the changes inevitable.

"The new rules will be a challenge to the business," said the director of a bankers group. Lawmakers have threatened to enact laws if regulators do not initiate reforms on the roughly 694 billion credit cards being used in the US.