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Fed, Merchant Briefs Due Today In Interchange Case
WASHINGTON (8/28/13)--Briefs on whether the Federal Reserve Board should issue a potential interim interchange rule are expected to be submitted by the Fed, plaintiffs representing merchants, and other interested parties today. The Credit Union National Association will join a coalition of financial trade groups in filing a brief.

Earlier this week, the Fed filed a consent motion for a stay of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon's July 31 interchange decision, pending appeal.

This motion was filed with the consent of merchant representatives, who are the plaintiffs in this case. The Fed and merchant representatives have both said they support a longer stay of Leon's order, pending a resolution of the Fed's appeal, CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard said last week.

The consent motion, which was filed late Monday, follows last Wednesday's hearing in that court, at which Fed General Counsel Scott Alvarez said the board plans to appeal Leon's decision. Alvarez last week said the Fed wishes to bring this case to finality quickly, and would work expeditiously to address interchange case issues once the appeal is filed. The Fed is also planning to file a motion to expedite this appeal, which could bring the case to its conclusion within nine months to one year.

Leon late last month struck down the Fed's rules on debit interchange fees and routing procedures under the Durbin Amendment. He ruled at that time that the Fed did not follow narrow congressional intent when it implemented the cap and other changes imposed by what is known as the Durbin amendment.

The judge has instructed the Fed to rewrite and/or revise the regulations, which require a cap on fees card issuers may charge merchants for their debit transaction services.


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