WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation, Boscov’s Department Store LLC and four other plaintiffs filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari against the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors on Monday, asking the Supreme Court to hear a case involving the debit card swipe fees that banks charge retailers when customers use the cards.
The retailers and industry groups are asking the justices to review a ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March that overturned a lower court decision and let stand the Federal Reserve’s cap of 21 cents on debit card transactions.
The other plaintiffs in the case include the NACS, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association and Miller Oil Co.
“There’s so much at stake here for U.S. retailers and their customers that we have no choice but to pursue this case as far as possible,” said Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel at the NRF.
Congress passed legislation in 2010, known as the “Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act,” which set sweeping financial regulations and also directed the Federal Reserve to adopt new rules governing debit card fees. The legislation directed the Fed to set debit fees that were “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a transaction. The Fed determined that the average incremental processing cost was 4 cents a transaction and initially set the cap on fees a bank could charge a retailer at a maximum of 12 cents a transaction. But in its final regulation issued in October 2011, the Fed increased the limit and set the cap at 21 cents a transaction.
“When a federal agency blatantly disregards the clear intent of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, that’s a dispute that cannot be ignored,” Duncan said.
An NRF spokesman said retailers believe the Fed “simply caved into the lobbying from the banking industry. We can’t see any other justification for having set the fee as high as they set it.
“The number that the Fed settled on was almost twice as high as what it had proposed and was five times higher than what they said the actual cost was,” the NRF spokesman said.
Retailers claim that they pay an estimated $20 billion on debit fee transactions annually. The average fee they paid before the cap was set was about 45 cents a debit card transaction.
A study found that retailers would save $8.5 billion with a 21-cent cap but could reap $12.5 billion in savings if the limit on fees per debit card transactions were set much lower.
The NRF, Boscov’s and the other plaintiffs in the Supreme Court Case filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in 2011 against the Fed, arguing that the 21-cent cap “went beyond those allowed under the legislation.” In July 2013, a U.S. district court judge ruled in favor of the NRF and other plaintiffs and ordered the Fed to recalculate the cap at a lower level, but the Fed appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington and won.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)