Connect with us

Economic Indicators

U.S. consumer watchdog issues review of excessive credit card fees

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A customer signs the credit card pad as he pays for a purchase at Macy’s in New York November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/File Photo

2/2

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The top U.S. consumer watchdog on Wednesday unveiled a measure that would scrutinize excessive credit card fees and demand card issuers disclose more data around revenue and expenses in a bid to stamp out abuses and boost competition.

The advanced notice of proposed rulemaking issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) confirms a Reuters April report that the agency would escalate a broader crackdown on what it calls “junk fees,” a catch-all for overdraft, credit card late-payment fees, bounced check fees, and other charges.

The review, which is the first of a number of related curbs on junk fees, would specifically assess whether credit card late fees are “reasonable and proportional,” the CFPB said.

It will also assess the potential deterrent effect of late fees and the role they play in credit card companies’ profitability, the agency said.

“Credit card late fees are big revenue generators for card issuers. We are asking card issuers, consumer groups and the public to provide us with data about late fees and the necessity for them and the role late fees play in credit card company profitability,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.

“As we examine this, our findings will inform rulemaking and help us to ensure we are making the credit card market work better for all consumers.”

Card issuers generally charge a late-payment fee when a customer misses their minimum payment deadline. The current rules contain a legal safe harbor which allows lenders to charge late fees provided they do not exceed a “reasonable and proportional” regulatory cap which is set annually by the CFPB.

Banks and credit unions pulled in more than $15 billion in overdraft and related fees in 2019 and $12 billion in late credit card fees in 2020, according to CFPB estimates.

Wednesday’s review, which is subject to public consultation before it can take effect, would not likely result in a rule before the end of the year, one CFPB official told reporters.

The deadline for comments is July 22.

The move is the first step in a broader initiative to examine junk fees in a bid to improve the financial marketplace and to boost fair competition, the agency said.

REAL DATA, NOT OPINIONS

While consumer advocates argue that lenders have become too reliant on such fees, industry groups say most lenders do not overly depend on fee revenue and that the CFPB is wrong to suggest lenders hide the fees or that the fees show banks are not offering competitive services.

The banking industry has already launched a united defense against Chopra’s “junk fees” scrutiny, analysts tell Reuters, showcasing that a slew of existing rules already require banks disclose such fees.

But Chopra said on Wednesday that the CFPB is hoping the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking helps inform whether, in addition to new rules, the CFPB should clarify certain existing rules that leave consumers “dinged” with multiple penalties relating to the same transaction or late payment.

One such component is a provision that allows credit card companies receive immunity if they hike the cost of credit card late fees each year by the rate of inflation.

“Do the cost to process late payments really increase with inflation, or is it more reasonable to expect that costs are going down with further advancements in technology each year?,” Chopra said.

“We’re not looking for opinions, but rather empirical evidence.”

Economic Indicators

Peru truckers, farmers to strike over fuel and fertilizer costs

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk next to parked trucks during a national transportation strike against fuel prices, in Lima, Peru March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Angela Ponce/File Photo

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s truckers and some farm groups will go on strike on Monday after failing to reach agreements with the government seeking measures to reduce the impact of steep global price rises of fuel and fertilizer, sector leaders said on Sunday.

Union leaders met on Friday and Saturday with government representatives, with demands including considering freight transport a “public service” that would reduce costs and curb competition from truckers from neighbor countries.

“We are firm in plans to strike with all our bases nationwide,” the leader of the heavy load haulage and drivers union Marlon Milla told radio station RPP. The union has 400,000 cargo transport units in 14 of the 25 regions of the country.

High global fuel prices linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have stoked unrest in Peru, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, while shortages of fertilizer have raised fears over food supply with the government struggling to secure shipments.

The government of leftist President Pedro Castillo, who has seen his popularity tumble since taking office last year, has taken measures to curb the rising cost of living, but the annual inflation rate remains at around 8%, its highest level in 24 years.

Some farming unions also announced strikes on Monday, in protest at the rise in fertilizer prices and shortages.

Latin American leaders are grappling to bring down spiraling prices despite major interest rate hikes. Trucking protests over fuel costs have hit Argentina while Ecuador is being roiled by protests in part linked to gas prices. [L4N2YB27W]

“The dialogue has not been exhausted, we are in a permanent session of ministers to avoid protest,” Justice Minister Félix Chero told reporters on Sunday. The government is offering subsidies for road tolls and fertilizer costs.

Continue Reading

Economic Indicators

French lawmakers plan $8.4 billion aid for households to fight inflation

Published

on


© Reuters. A shopper pays with a ten Euro bank note at a local market in Nice, France, June 7, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – French lawmakers are drafting a bill to shore-up household buying power by raising some forms of government assistance by 4%, at a cost of 8 billion euros ($8.44 billion) from July to April next year, business daily Les Echos reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the planned increases would apply to welfare benefits for families, unemployed workers and disabled people as well as pension payouts, effective in July.

Housing allowances, meanwhile, could be increased by around 3.5% starting in July as part of a separate bill.

France’s central bank forecast this month that French inflation would average 5.6% this year before falling to 3.4% in 2023 and easing to just below the European Central Bank’s 2% target in 2024.

($1 = 0.9475 euros)

Continue Reading

Economic Indicators

Israel to let more Palestinians work in manufacturing to fill labour shortage

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian worker holds up his ID card as he is processed after entering Israel through the Erez Crossing, on the border with Gaza, February 20, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s cabinet approved issuing 3,500 additional permits for Palestinian workers in Israel’s manufacturing and services sectors, increasing the number to 12,000 to help relieve a shortage of skilled staff, the Economy Ministry said on Sunday.

Workers from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, require permits to cross checkpoints and enter Israel where wages are higher.

Israel employs nearly 100,000 West Bank and Gaza Palestinian workers, according to the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority. But most work in construction or agriculture, with only a comparatively small number given permits for jobs in factories or the services sector.

Israel’s jobless rate is around 3%, and the economy ministry said the existence of 14,000 vacancies in manufacturing was creating a barrier to economic growth.

Economy Minister Orna Barbivai said in a statement that in addition to the extra work permits for Palestinians, the ministry plans to work to increase manufacturing productivity through automation and digitalisation.

The quota for Palestinian workers in manufacturing will automatically be reduced if the annual average unemployment rate in Israel rises above 7.5%, the government said.

Ron Tomer, head of Israel’s Manufacturers’ Association, called the decision to boost numbers of Palestinians allowed to work in Israel a “lifeline” for the industrial sector given severe shortages of workers.

“There are currently thousands of open jobs that manufacturers find difficult to fill, and we believe that increasing the quota will help reduce the severe shortage at least in the short and medium term and help the industry continue to operate and grow in Israel,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Sports & General14 mins ago

More than 40 migrants die in truck in San Antonio, others hospitalized

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Cryptocurrency15 mins ago

Institutional crypto asset products saw record weekly outflows of $423M

Institutional crypto asset products saw record weekly outflows of $423M Digital asset investment products saw record outflows totaling $423 million...

Economy44 mins ago

Asia stocks edge down after Wall Street falls; oil rises

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks past an electronic...

World44 mins ago

Rescuers dig for survivors of Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping mall

5/5 © Reuters. Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s...

Sports & General44 mins ago

Dozens of migrants found dead in truck in San Antonio

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Economy44 mins ago

Japan says hard to confirm impact from Russia’s debt default

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s new Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,...

World45 mins ago

Russian missile strike kills 16 in shopping mall, Ukraine says

2/2 © Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack...

Stock Markets45 mins ago

Asian Stocks Down as Oil Rises on Tight Supply Concerns

© Reuters By Zhang Mengying Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Tuesday morning after Wall Street fell...

Commodities1 hour ago

U.S. hostage envoy visits Venezuela for talks about jailed Americans-official

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General1 hour ago

Mexican consul en route to Texas site where migrants found dead in trailer

© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San...

Economy1 hour ago

Euro gains traction ahead of inflation data, dollar steadies

© Reuters. A shopper pays with a ten Euro bank note at a local market in Nice, France, June 7,...

Sports & General2 hours ago

At least 40 people found dead in truck in San Antonio – source

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Commodities2 hours ago

Venezuelan officials meet US delegation, Maduro says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Twenty people found dead in truck in San Antonio, local media report

© Reuters (Reuters) – At least 20 people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, local...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

China Evergrande faces winding-up lawsuit for $110 million deal obligation

© Reuters. The Evergrande Center of China Evergrande Group is seen amid other buildings in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2021....

Stock Markets3 hours ago

Heineken to expand Mexico operations with $90 million plant

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Heineken beer bottles are seen at a bar in Monterrey, Mexico June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File...

Cryptocurrency3 hours ago

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau For Maurice...

Stock Markets3 hours ago

U.S. commerce secretary presses lawmakers to greenlight $52 billion for chipmaking

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 1, 2022. Andrew...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

JetBlue refuses to give up its quest for Spirit Airlines

© Reuters. Airplane model is placed on displayed Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways logos in this illustration taken, June 21,...

World4 hours ago

Biden pick for immigration enforcement withdraws after long delay

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ed Gonzalez testifies on his nomination as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Four big U.S. banks raise dividends after stress tests

2/2 © Reuters. A person walks past a Bank of America sign in the Manhattan borough of New York City,...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Blackstone, Carlyle, Apollo to cover U.S. abortion-related travel costs

2/2 © Reuters. Signage is seen outside The Blackstone Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Nike forecasts downbeat quarterly revenue on lingering China worries

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex...

World4 hours ago

Trump’s election attorney John Eastman says FBI seized his phone

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: John Eastman, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, is seen speaking in a video...

Sports & General4 hours ago

Three dead in Amtrak train crash and derailment in Missouri

(Reuters) -An Amtrak train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed in northern Missouri on Monday after hitting a dump truck at...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Dow Futures Move Higher Following Negative Session

© Reuters. By Oliver Gray  Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading slightly higher in Monday’s evening deals after major...

Sports & General4 hours ago

New Mexico shields abortion clinics ahead of expected patient surge

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Democratic candidate for governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sits down for a meal at Barelas Coffee House...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Bankman-Fried’s FTX says no talks to acquire Robinhood

© Reuters. The logo of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up event on Wall Street after the company’s...

World4 hours ago

Missiles strike Ukraine shopping mall; G7 vows to keep pressure on Russia

6/6 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smoke rises over remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia’s...

Stock Markets5 hours ago

JetBlue sweetens Spirit takeover offer with ‘ticking fee’

© Reuters. Airplane model is placed on displayed Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways logos in this illustration taken, June 21,...

Trending