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Industry specialists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are often asked to serve on industry-related committees or to participate in special assignments within the Federal Reserve System where their expertise can best be used. In this edition of Update, we highlight the recent work of three Payment Cards Center employees.
In March 2009, Senior Industry Specialist Julia Cheney was asked to become a member of the BITS Fraud Steering Committee (FSC). BITS is a not-for-profit division of the Financial Services Roundtable whose program agenda focuses on sustaining consumer confidence and trust in consumer payment systems, including card-based systems. This goal is accomplished through a set of standing and ad hoc committees tasked with specific programming objectives. These objectives may relate to identifying best practices or global fraud trends or developing new research to help reduce the impact of fraud. Additionally, this committee serves as a platform for members to share fraud data or information about operational procedures. In its role as a steering committee, the FSC leverages a wide range of experience, including nonmember perspectives, to help set its fraud program agenda.
From June through September, Industry Specialist Philip Keitel worked at the Board of Governors' Division of Consumer and Community Development Studies and Education in Washington, D.C., on consumer payment regulations. Keitel helped to effect provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009* (the Credit CARD Act) by assisting in the drafting of regulations related to consumers' use of credit cards and prepaid cards.
In addition to his work on Title IV regulations, Keitel conducted research related to Section 102(b)(1) of the Credit CARD Act and studied various aspects of state banking laws that might conflict with overdraft regulations proposed by the Board. This section of the legislation would amend the Truth in Lending Act by requiring "reasonable and proportional" fees related to the terms of cardholder agreements. It will be interesting to follow the debate over how to define "reasonable and proportional."
In addition to managing the center, Bob Hunt has been busy participating in a number of industry and regulatory forums. For example, Hunt joined with two Federal Reserve colleagues (Cheryl Venable and Ken Isaacson) to present an overview of payment systems at NACHA's annual meeting. He made a presentation on the outlook for collections at the Risk Managers Roundtable, the Credit Grantor Consortium, and the Center for Financial Innovations 4th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum. In addition, he participated on a panel at the Federal Trade Commission's recent public forum on proposed debt relief amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.