WASHINGTON (7/16/10)—Following the Senate's 60 to 39 vote approval of comprehensive financial regulatory reform legislation, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said that credit unions would work with regulators to ease the impact that interchange provisions could have on their operations and members. The financial reform legislation includes provisions that will allow the Federal Reserve to intervene in the setting of debit card transaction fees. While the “extraordinary grassroots and lobbying efforts” of credit unions did not result in the removal of the interchange legislation, these efforts did help secure significant improvements to the provisions, Cheney said. One such improvement is a carveout that would exempt financial institutions with under $10 billion in assets from the interchange legislation. The improvements, “while certainly not a panacea,” will give credit unions “a better chance” to ensure that the rate set by the Federal Reserve accurately reflects the true costs of card programs for credit unions, Cheney said. CUNA will continue to address credit union concerns with the proposal in future discussions with the Fed, he added. Cheney noted that while much of the legislation is not aimed at, and does not affect, credit unions, the actions of CUNA, the leagues, and individual credit unions have also helped credit unions with under $10 billion in assets avoid the oversight, examination and enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Credit unions also will not pay for the the funding of the consumer bureau, and the National Credit Union Administration will maintain a seat on that board. The legislation also addresses thrifts, deposit insurance reforms, hedge funds, credit rating agencies, executive compensation, and investor protections, among other items. CUNA will also work to "ensure that the consumer provisions extend the protections that are intended without limiting the benefit that credit unions already offer to their members," Cheney added. CUNA is currently planning a series of audio conferences to examine the provisions of this legislation that are of greatest concern to credit unions. Those audio conferences are set to take place in August.