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Washington
CUNA takes to airwaves in interchange fight
WASHINGTON (6/7/10)—With action on interchange fee legislation set to pick up even more this week, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will call on individual citizens in districts nationwide via a series of radio ads. The ad, which will be broadcast statewide in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Vermont, as well as in Kansas City, Missouri, encourages consumers to “say no” to changing how fees are collected on your debit card. The ad provides a toll-free phone number that concerned individuals can use to reach their respective congressional offices.
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CUNA is also advocating for eliminating the interchange fee changes through a print ad campaign that will run in D.C.-based news media this week. CUNA has made the print campaign, which calls the new debit card use fees that would likely take the place of merchant-paid interchange fees “nothing more than a new tax on consumers,” available to credit union leagues nationwide as well. CUNA and other credit union representatives will take the anti-interchange fight to the halls of congress this week during a Hike the Hill on June 8 and 9, and CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica late last week encouraged the National Credit Union Administration to discuss the difficulties that interchange fee-less credit unions would face if the interchange legislation passes into law. (See related story: Mica seeks NCUA support on interchange) The interchange legislation, which would direct the Federal Reserve to issue regulations to govern interchange fees charged for debit card transactions, was introduced into the Senate version of financial regulatory reform by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) The House version of reform does not contain similar legislation. CUNA has recently said that this rule change forces the Fed into the role of a price-fixing body, when interchange fees should be driven by market forces.


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