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Cheney says fees highlight CU difference on iFox Biz Networki

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WASHINGTON (10/3/11)—As Fox Business Network's Gerri Willis interviewed Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and a banking consultant about debit card fees that large banks are starting to charge, Cheney explained how the credit union difference makes the financial cooperatives a better deal for consumers than profit-driven banks. Willis on Friday questioned her guests about whether the growing banks fees—such as a $5-montly charge announced by Bank of America last week, which became a media flashpoint--are an outcome of a debit interchange fee cap imposed by Congress, a limit that went into effect over the weekend. Cheney acknowledged the role that the limits have on the income bases of financial institutions that issue debit cards. He said that to make up for revenues lost because the government capped the fee merchants can be charged to use the popular debit card system, some debit card issuers are charging fees. The CUNA CEO noted that it is not just B of A charging new fees—other banks also are doing this and “that is what you would expect from a for-profit institution.” “When they see their revenues dropping, they have to go elsewhere to pump up those profits so they can make a return for their shareholders. “Credit unions are very different institutions and their focus is on their members—members own their credit unions and it is a very different approach to management,” Cheney noted. Bert Ely, CEO of Ely & Co. and a nationally known bank expert, was also interviewed. Later in the interview when Willis--who reminded her listeners that she has been recommending credit unions “for a long time”--questioned whether credit unions have the same convenience as banks, such as large ATM networks, Cheney assured that they do. He explained that credit unions, unlike banks, work together to best serve credit union members as a whole and many credit unions belong to ATM networks, like the CO OP Network, that help them provide as many as 28,000 ATMs nationwide--surcharge free. “Surcharge free. I like to hear that,” Willis declared. In addition to the comprehensive ATM networks, Cheney made an opportunity to explain that as a credit union member he enjoys the same convenient online banking—and even phone app banking—that banks offer customers. Use the resource link to see the Fox Business Network video clip.