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CUs continue interchange efforts in media
MADISON, Wis. (4/4/11)--Credit unions, and ATM fees and the proposed cap on interchange fees continued to draw interest last week from media such as CNBC, Fox 2 News in St. Louis, and the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette. On "$5 Fees May Be Coming to an ATM Near You" on CNBC (March 31), the Federal Reserve's proposed rule capping interchange fees charged merchants crept into an exchange between Joe Ridout of Consumer Action and Nessa Feddis from the American College of Consumer Financial Services. "Credit unions don't charge fees," said Ridout, because they "don't aim to turn a profit, they have not relied on overdraft fees that gouge consumers and they don't pay their executives eight-figure salaries or multi-million-dollar bonuses, and they don't have to come up with rinky-dink fees to support these irresponsible levels of compensation." Use the link to see the article or the video of the exchange. In St. Louis, Mo., Patrick Adams, president/CEO of St. Louis Community CU, was interviewed by Fox 2 News (March 30). He educated viewers about the differences between debit and credit transactions, and how the proposed changes in interchange income will impact their financial institution. To listen to what he said, use the link. In Charleston, W.Va., Dan Smithson, president of the $150 million asset Star USA FCU, told the Charleston Gazette (March 26) that credit unions want Congress to stop proposed interchange regulations that would prompt small institutions to charge customers up to $60 for using their debit cards. Credit unions would have to charge extra fees to recoup revenue losses, he told the publication. The rules would unfairly penalize credit unions and community banks and it is unrealistic to expect that any merchant would pass savings to consumers, he said. The article also noted that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R- W.Va.) had introduced legislation to postpone the final swipe fee rule changes until federal agencies could study how the interchange cap would affect consumers, banks and credit unions, and merchants. Use the link to access the article. The Credit Union National Association opposes the cap on interchange fees and has urged Congress to stop the Fed's work on the interchange proposal and study the possible unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act provision. In addition to Moore Capito's bill in the House, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced a similar bill that would delay implementation of the proposed rule.
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