WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- U.S. banks are raising credit card rates and fees as fallout from the recently passed credit card law, an industry lobbyist said.
"The industry is restricted in setting credit terms based on the borrower's individual risk profile, so the price goes up for all borrowers," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of the Financial Services Roundtable.
Among recent changes, Bank of America and Chase have raised the maximum for balance transfer fees to 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, USA Today reported Tuesday. InfiBank is raising its minimum annual percentage rate for many card holders and Capital One and Citigroup have also raised some rates.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., have called for an "emergency freeze" on rate hikes for established credit card accounts, although so far to no avail.
Some of the recent rate hikes were "against the spirit of the law and ... just plain wrong," Schumer said Monday.
The law did not thwart a familiar bit of cautionary advice that was prevalent before President Barack Obama signed the credit card bill in May. Consumers must still read the fine print on their contracts and on their bills, Ruth Susswein, deputy director of Consumer Action, said.