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NEW CUs deeply disappointed on interchange vote CUNA
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 2:40 p.m. ET, 6/8/11)-Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said that the Senate’s failure to delay implementing the Federal Reserve’s interchange debit fee cap “is going to create a train wreck that will affect every consumer with a debit card.” Credit unions won the majority of votes this afternoon when the Senate weighed in 54 in favor and 45 against an amendment that would have required the U.S. Congress to stop, study, and start over on a statutory debit card interchange fee cap. However, a 60 vote majority was required to pass the delay. After the vote, Cheney said credit unions are “deeply disappointed the Senate disregarded the more than half a million contacts made by credit unions and their members over the last three months in failing to pass the Tester-Corker amendment.” The Senate “missed a huge opportunity to get this right,” Cheney added. Cheney said that CUNA has repeatedly emphasized that these rules “will impose a severe hardship on credit unions with debit card programs, draining the revenue they need to offset the costs of providing card services. “Much as they would prefer not to, credit unions will have no recourse but to make up these costs by imposing new fees or service restrictions on their members. How are consumers better off under this scenario? The plain fact is they are not,” he added. Cheney said CUNA will continue and re-double its efforts to work with the Federal Reserve as it moves forward in creating its implementation rule, set to go into effect July 21. Last December, the Fed proposed to cap debit card transaction fees at 12 cents per transaction. A proposed exemption for issuers with under $10 billion in assets is included in the proposal, but CUNA, the leagues and credit unions--and the Fed itself--have said that the exemption is flawed and will not work in practice.

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