ABA Banking Journal - September 2011 - (Page 52)
What are the challenges?
An interview with Ken Clayton, Chief Counsel and SVP of Legislative Affairs
ABABJ: You were deeply involved in the debit-card interchange fight. How happy are you with the outcome? Ken Clayton: I’m really pleased that the industry spoke with one voice and the impact that had. Reducing lost revenue at banks by up to $4.5 billion a year is an achievement the industry should be proud of. But there’s no sugar-coating this—the lost revenue from the Durbin Amendment is a horrible result for banks. What troubles me most is the impact this will have on banks’ ability to serve their communities. This is a big deal, and it comes at a really bad time. ABABJ: How has credit card reform, another issue you were very involved with, affected banks? KC: It forced the industry to take a close look at itself and the perceptions policymakers and customers had of some of our practices. At the end of the day, card reform ensures that customers get greater clarity on what’s involved in using credit cards and greater protection, as some of the more controversial practices disappear. In the end it will benefit all banks that offer consumer services. ABABJ: You and James Ballentine will get new responsibilities when ABA’s chief lobbyist, Floyd Stoner, retires at yearend. What are the biggest challenges? KC: James and I are looking forward to this opportunity to serve the industry. Floyd’s is a tough act to follow, but both James and I have had a lot of experience meeting with bankers, and we will apply bankers’ insights in ways that benefit the industry. One of our biggest challenges is helping policymakers appreciate the enormous role that banks of all sizes play in the local community and the economy as a whole. Bankers across the country, working with ABA and the state bankers associations, need to engage in the policy process and put a real face on the problems faced in serving the local communities. ABA will work aggressively to facilitate that. ABABJ: Are there key coalitions or partnerships that would
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make a difference for the industry in the future? KC: I’ve had the privilege of working with all segments of the industry during my 20+ years at ABA—as the liaison with the Community Bankers Council for many years, and with the mid-size and large banks on many issues—and have a good sense of the challenges they face and the resources they bring to the table. We need to recognize the strengths of these various segments, bring them together, speak with one voice and be more politically effective. Getting 54 votes in the Senate on interchange was a significant achievement and the direct result of a coordinated effort. It’s the only way to preserve banks’ long-term interests. It would also be helpful to find common interests with the local chambers of commerce, the retail community and local community groups. They have a shared investment in the future of local communities ABABJ: You often bike to work. Are there days when you bike in and just don’t feel like biking home? KC: It’s 11 miles each way—downhill coming in and uphill going back. As you might imagine, I think more fondly of the downhill part. But it’s really never a problem. There’s nothing like getting out on a bike, clearing your head, and recharging you batteries. You don’t want to miss that. Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask for him at 1-800-BANKERS.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September 2011
ABA Banking Journal - September 2011
ABA Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Cover Story: Mobile money at stake
The long and short of annuities
ABA Annual Convention
ABA Banking Journal - September 2011