MADISON, Wis. (6/10/10)--Credit unions continue to reach out to regional media to oppose an interchange provision in pending federal regulatory reform legislation that would allow the government to set interchange fees. Credit unions also are teaming up with other financial industry groups on their anti-interchange efforts. Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, wrote a joint op-ed with Christopher L. Williston of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas that was published by The Cherokeean Herald
Wednesday. The piece, “When Reform Hammers Swing Too Wide, Consumers Get Nailed,” reiterates that interchange legislation would ultimately cost consumers. Other efforts:
* Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) President/CEO Mark Cummins wrote a letter to the editor that was published in Wednesday’s edition of Finance & Commerce. Cummins was asked by the publication to provide a comment for a separate article on how the interchange amendment will affect credit unions. His perspective was included in the story. * First Class CU, Westown, Iowa, published a letter in the Des Moines Register Wednesday opposing interchange. President/Manager Kent Strawn wrote in response to a letter written to the paper by Pat Drennen, Iowa Credit Union League board chair, and Roger Claypool, Iowa Bankers Association board chair, also opposing interchange. * Arrowhead CU President/CEO Larry Sharp sent an e-mail statement to 77,000 members asking them to write their federal representatives opposing the interchange amendment, said the Redland Daily Facts (June 3). Arrowhead CU is based in San Bernardino, Calif. * The Disclosures, a credit union band featuring Christopher Morris, CUNA Council manager of communications and Web resources, and Chad Helminak, Web producer and media relations manager for the Wisconsin Credit Union League, wrote a song, “Don’t Change Interchange,” and created a video on YouTube about interchange fees (use the link).
The coverage comes as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) hosts a “fly-in” this week with state credit union leagues and credit union representatives to oppose the interchange amendment. The “fly-in” was organized by CUNA so state leagues and credit union representatives can demonstrate to lawmakers how the interchange fee would affect them. Total credit union contacts with Congress on the interchange issue since May 24 is between 375,000 and 400,000, CUNA said. Credit unions continue to contact lawmakers on interchange. CUNA and its credit unions oppose the interchange amendment because it would be costly for credit unions to continue offering their members card products and portfolios as a part of their services. The interchange language is included in the Senate version of the bill, and CUNA is working to keep the language out of the final bill.