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JPMorgan CEO Dimon on Dodd-Frank, Economy

11:24 AM, Feb 22, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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CNBC's Maria Bartiromo has an interview in USA Today with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, a Democrat and Obama administration friend. Dimon has a few problems with new regulations in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, including the so-called Durbin amendment, which prevents banks from charging fees on debit card use:

There is a cost of doing business; you've got to cover your costs. Our costs are ATMs, branches, bankers, systems, statements, online, all that kind of stuff. One of the ways you got paid was by charging on debit, and now that's gone. So banks will have to figure out other ways to charge for their product. Fair prices, not gouging, just fair prices to recover their costs, like any other business. And so the consumer will end up paying more. I don't think the consumer's going to benefit at all from this change.

So what sort of cost-recovery efforts will be affecting consumers? Dimon explains:

You're going to see minimum balances go up. Remember many years ago, you had monthly fees. You might see monthly fees come back. You're going to see reward programs be cut, like debit reward programs. You may even see some limit the use of debit cards. And we want to do it in a way that's consumer-friendly. But it will be done for general banking. We have decided to look at all options. We want to make sure we treat our customers well, but somehow we're going to have to find other ways to recover our costs.

Read the whole interview here, which also covers economic growth and unemployment. Dimon goes on to say that JPMorgan supported much of the reforms in Dodd-Frank, including high capital liquidity standards and resolution authority. These are, not surprisingly, reforms that benefit big financial institutions when things start to turn south.

But Dimon does object to the creation of the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), saying "we have too many regulators" already. Fred Barnes, in this week's issue, writes about CFPB's lack of accountability.

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