WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today introduced a constituent testifying before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Gus Prentzas, who owns two businesses in Maloney’s district, Pavilion Florals and Life Health and Fitness.


Prentzas’ testimony at the hearing—the only testimony offered by an individual merchant—was about the impact of fees charged by banks and transaction companies to process debit card purchases at his businesses, and helped illuminate the topic for lawmakers from the from the business owners’ perspective.

“Gus has been an active member of the Queens community,” Maloney said. “In addition to his florist and health club businesses, he is also President of the Long Island City Business Group and has been actively providing jobs and services in my district. I’m glad he was able to take the time to provide his point of view on this issue.”

The Federal Reserve has proposed a rule under a provision of the new Dodd-Frank financial reforms signed into law last year which requires that interchange fees be “reasonable and proportional” to the “actual cost” of processing the transaction. The Fed  has proposed a per-transaction fee capped at 12 cents per swipe of a debit card, a substantial reduction over current fees. The rule, if approved by the Federal Reserve Board, is scheduled to take effect in July.