Biden announces proposal to cut US credit card fees, app charges

WASHINGTON D.C.: As part of a wider policy drive to increase competition in consumer markets, President Joe Biden has announced new initiative to cut credit card late fees and drive down prices charged by Apple and Google at their mobile app stores.

Speaking at the White House, Biden also called on lawmakers to ban "junk fees" applied for consumer services, such as accommodation, concert tickets, mobile plans and air travel, including family members being charged extra to be seated next to their young children on airplanes.

"The bottom line is these unfair fees add up. It is a basic question of fairness," Biden told reporters.

Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are scheduled to meet to discuss the proposal, which could mark the start of protracted negotiations on raising the country’s $31.4 trillion borrowing cap.

As part of the initiative, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a ban on "excessive" fees for late credit card payments charged by issuers, which are estimated to cost consumers some $12 billion annually.

Following the fourth meeting of Biden’s Competition Council on Wednesxxx, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra said such fees far exceeded any additional costs that lenders incurred, stating, "What I think we also see is companies using inflation as an excuse to raise fees even more, and that is wrong."

The rule would restrict late fees at $8, compared to a current official estimate of $31, on average, potentially representing $9 billion in consumer savings per year.

The new regulations could take effect in 2024 after a comment period, Chopra added.