ABA Opposes Fed's Type-Size Proposals for Credit Card Solicitations

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The Federal Reserve Board should abandon its effort to require banks to use specific type sizes in their credit card marketing materials and applications, the American Bankers Association said last week.

The Federal Reserve is proposing that the annual percentage rate, or the interest charged on monthly credit card balances, should be printed in 18-point type or larger as part of its suggestions for amending the Truth in Lending Act.

In a letter sent Friday to the Federal Reserve, the ABA, Washington, said credit card marketers have received few complaints from customers who were confused about the APR.

"Reimposing type size requirements will not solve any perceived problem that consumers are unaware of the APR and other terms when they apply for a credit card," the ABA wrote. "In most cases, any consumer complaints are the result of failure to read the disclosures. Imposing minimum font sizes will not alter that behavior."

The ABA suggested that banks instead be required to include the word "introductory" next to the introductory rate and that the regular rate be listed in a type size no smaller than the introductory rate or in 12-point type immediately next to the introductory rate.

The ABA also suggested that the Fed drop its proposal that a table listing the APR and regular rates be placed on the front page of mail solicitations.

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