RALEIGH, N.C. (6/16/10)--To kick off the North Carolina Credit Union League Annual Meeting Monday, the league’s Governmental Affairs Forum examined the interchange issue, the 2010 elections, and other topics of interest to credit unions.
The North Carolina Credit Union League’s Governmental Affairs Forum featured the entertaining members of the North Carolina SPIN panel, who discussed state politics and the 2010 elections. The forum kicked off the league’s annual meeting Monday. (Photo provided by the North Carolina Credit Union League)
The session began with a focus on the ongoing interchange amendment battle being waged by credit unions. Credit Union National Association Senior Legislative Representative Phil Drager shared the most recent information on the issue, and praised the work of North Carolina credit unions in contacting their elected leaders in Washington, D.C. (Weekly Update
June 14). Drager also recapped the visits by credit union advocates to Washington last week to make the case in person on interchange. He noted three specific messages seemed to resonate with members of Congress:
* The amendment placed into the Senate bill came with no committee vetting and debate. Congress should have a thorough debate of the issue before getting involved. [Editor’s note: A conference committee in Congress likely will discuss the interchange issues at a meeting next week]. * If the amendment were to pass, the Federal Reserve would only be empowered to deal with the processing charges when considering an interchange fee structure. Other costs to credit unions--such as fraud--could not be considered. * The amendment does not specifically mandate a two-tiered pricing structure on interchange.
As of Monday, more than a 100 members of the U.S. House had signed a letter sent to the conference committee asking that the Interchange amendment be pulled from the final bill, Drager said. Four members of Congress from North Carolina have signed the letter as of Monday, said the league. Drager also updated credit unions on member business lending and secondary capital. “Issues such as business lending and secondary capital will continue to be part of our overall messages to Congress,” said Dan Schline, league senior vice president of association services. “But with the conferees on the Financial Services Regulatory Reform Bill expected to meet within days, it’s essential that credit unions and their members continue to make interchange priority No. 1.” A pair of panel discussions touched on advocacy and the North Carolina political scene. The advocacy panel included State Rep. Rick Glazier (D-45); Jay Rouse, director of governmental affairs for North Carolina’s Electric Co-operatives; and Southern Select Community CU CEO Huyla Jackson. League Director of Political Affairs Mickey Fanney moderated the panel. “It was a great look at how to be successful in grassroots advocacy from a variety of different perspectives,” Fanney said.