Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for holding this very important hearing and I would like to thank all of our witnesses for testifying today.
I am very familiar with check truncation. My bank in Kentucky has been truncating checks for a number of years. There have been no problems, and I think it has added to the good service I receive by being able to clear checks faster. At my bank, we have seen none of the problems that at least one of our witnesses will speak to today. Of course, not every bank is as well run as my bank in Kentucky.
I certainly understand the concerns the opponents of the Federal Reserve proposal have. They are valid, but I believe they are being addressed. Nobody wants consumers to be charged twice for check cashing services. We have to do what we can in this legislation to make sure that does not happen. We also must make sure that criminals are not able to get their hands on the original or truncated checks and do everything we can to prevent fraud. I think the banks understand this. If one of their customers is the victim of a double charge or fraud. It is very likely the consumer will vote with their feet and probably take their family and friends with him. In this highly competitive financial services environment not very many banks can afford that.
I would especially like to welcome Governor Ferguson today. I am probably the Fed's strongest critic when I think they have done something outside of their mandate and I make no apologies for that. But if I am going to criticize the Fed when I believe they are wrongfully exceeding their mandate, it is only fair that I compliment them when I think they are doing their job well. I believe the Fed should be commended for moving this issue forward and trying to promote the use of technology to clear checks faster. Clearing checks faster is pro-consumer.
Once again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this hearing. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses.