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Currency Exchange Services May Increase With New Proposal

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A state panel is considering a proposal that would make currency exchange services more expensive for Illinois residents, and that isn't sitting well with some.

"The department's proposal would impose double digit rate increases across the board. All types of checks, all check amounts," said Brent Adams is Senior Vice President of Policy for the Woodstock Institute.

That proposal, being considered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, would impact cashing checks or paying bills with the currency exchange. State Senator Jacqueline Collins called it "outrageous."

"I'm not going to mince words here, I'm going to call it exactly what it is," Collins said. "A regressive tax on the most financially vulnerable."

The currency exchange industry has said the hikes of up to 46-percent are needed to give business a boost. At a Wednesday press conference criticizing the plan and pushing a counter-proposal, Collins put the increase into perspective.

"That means that it could cost $50 to cash a $1500 check."

At a public hearing later in the day, state officials heard from concerned residents like Francis Banks.

"I and many other seniors would be devastated by these increases," she told the panel.

State officials have yet to look over the submitted counter-proposal.

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