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CU System
Calif. league CUs MBL interchange positions in two newspapers
ONTARIO, Calif. (7/12/10)--Two California-based newspapers recently touted credit unions’ positions on two hot-button issues--interchange and member business lending. La Opinion, a Spanish newspaper, noted the California Credit Union League is promoting a bill that would raise the cap on member business lending at credit unions to 27.5% from 12.25%. U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) recently filed an amendment to a budget stimulus bill that would raise the cap. The amendment is supported by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions. Bob Arnould, league senior vice president, told the newspaper that the measure would help create 20,000 jobs in California. The Bakersfield Californian mentioned credit unions’ worries about the Senate provision in the regulatory reform bill, which would allow the government to set interchange fees. CUNA and its credit unions oppose the measure because it would make it harder for credit unions to offer card products and services, CUNA has said. The newspaper noted that many credit unions fear merchants will stop accepting credit union members’ cards because they may carry higher fees. Although the bill contains an exemption for small institutions, including credit unions, credit unions worry the exemption for could have no effect and credit unions would be unable to absorb debit card costs, the newspaper said. Bakersfield-based Kern Schools FCU President/CEO Steve Renock told the newspaper that credit unions would be hard-pressed if the legislation passes, and it’s “going to be hard to make up for the lost revenue.” Arnould added that the “biggest losers” of the bill would be credit unions and community banks. Donna Severs, CEO and manager of Bakersfeld City Employees FCU, said if the legislation passes, her board would have to decide whether to continue offering free checking. The likelihood of that is slim, she added.
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