Press Releases

Capitol Hill Symposium Examines Issues Affecting Credit Cards

June 14, 2007, Washington D.C. – Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide co-hosted a symposium with The Financial Services Forum on June 13 where experts from the public and private sectors came together to discuss issues affecting credit cards. Of particular focus was the Federal Reserve’s recently released proposed rules on Regulation Z governing credit card agreement disclosures, the balance between providing adequate information in credit card disclosures and the complexity caused by too much information.

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) opened the symposium with comments on current legislation and the future of the credit card industry. Both Members of Congress pledged their commitment to the importance of credit availability as they continue to examine credit card issues.

“The credit card industry faces both policy and communications challenges,” said Robert F. Mathias, Managing Director, Ogilvy PR/Washington, DC. “The goal of the symposium was to bring stakeholders together to help put those challenges into perspective.”

According to a recent survey by The Financial Services Forum, 62 percent of Americans felt that credit card agreements provide adequate information, however only 49 percent felt that the information provided was clear and understandable. Additionally, 62 percent said they would be happy if restrictions on credit card disclosures were eased so that card issuers could explain a consumer’s conditions and obligations in terms that are easier to understand.

The symposium, moderated by Rob Blackwell of the American Banker, consisted of noted panelists including: Thomas A. Durkin, Senior Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; L. Richard Fischer, Partner, Morrison & Foerster; Mike Quaranta, Chief of Staff, Representative Michael N. Castle, Cindy Zeldin, Federal Affair Coordinate, Demos and Todd Zywicki, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law.

  • James McGregor.  A Mandarin speaking journalist-turned-businessman who has lived in China for two decades. He is the author of the book One Billion Customers: Lessons From the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, a widely-acclaimed best-seller published by Simon & Schuster in 2005.  Previously, McGregor headed the China Wall Street Journal bureau and served as chief executive of Dow Jones & Co in China, as well as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
  • William McCahill.  A former senior American Foreign Service career officer who has extensive hands-on experience doing business in China, most recently as Senior International Business Advisor of the law firm WilmerHale.  In his final diplomatic posting, McCahill served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé of the American Embassy in Beijing, where he played a key role in the conclusion of the U.S.-China bilateral WTO agreement.
  • Anne Stevenson-Yang.  A former business consultant and entrepreneurial executive who successfully founded four companies in the software and media businesses.  Previously, Stevenson-Yang served as China Director of the US-China Business Council and Managing Director of the US Information Technology Office in Beijing.

About Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (Ogilvy PR) is a leading global marketing communications firm, with offices in more than 60 cities around the world. In its 26th year, Ogilvy PR provides strategic public relations counsel to a variety of clients across its consumer marketing, corporate, healthcare, technology, public affairs, social marketing and entertainment practices. The agency also offers biotechnology and government affairs expertise through its subsidiaries Feinstein Kean Healthcare and Ogilvy Government Relations, respectively. Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide is part of the WPP Group, one of the world's largest communications services organizations (NASDAQ: WPPGY, www.wpp.com). For more information, visit our Web site at www.ogilvypr.com.

About The Financial Services Forum
The Financial Services Forum is comprised of the CEOs of 20 of the largest and most diversified financial services institutions doing business in the United States and has been called “perhaps the country’s most powerful trade association” by Time. Under the leadership of former Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans, the Forum is working to educate the public about the importance of robust capital markets; to influence the national and international regulatory debate; and to promote a competitive global marketplace and the free flow of capital. For more information, visit its Web site at www.financialservicesforum.org.

Contact Information
Kara Beigay
(202) 729-4248
kara.beigay@ogilvypr.com