Best done out of the light
U.S. banks are fighting the Obama administration plan to create a consumer agency for financial services as they seek to protect fees, such as credit-card penalties that have almost doubled to $19 billion in five years.
Fees imposed by banks accounted for 53 percent of industry income in 2008, up from 35 percent in 1995, according to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, a credit-card advisory firm. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, said such revenue doubled in the first quarter. A U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Agency also may add costs by expanding scrutiny.