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Huizenga meets with Mich. CUs on interchange
LANSING, Mich. (2/10/11)--Freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) thanked Michigan credit union leaders Monday for their input on how the new debit interchange law and proposed regulations would affect small issuers and how the changes could lead to increased costs on consumers. More than a dozen Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and local credit union leaders met with Huizenga, who was appointed to serve on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee that will hold a hearing on Feb. 17 to discuss the Federal Reserve’s interchange proposal (Michigan Monitor Feb. 7). “He expressed concern about the effects of this provision increasing fees on consumers,” said Jordan Kingdon, MCUL’s director of governmental affairs. Huizenga told the group that he was looking forward to learning more about the interchange process. The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act would cap interchange fees for card issuers with more than $10 billion in assets. But there is no provision in the law that allows the Federal Reserve to enforce a two-tier system that would protect small issuers such as credit unions. “Credit union leaders encouraged Congressman Huizenga to urge his colleagues on the panel to slow down the Fed's action on this issue to ensure proper time is taken in committee to study the effects of current language on credit unions,” Kingdon said. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has urged the Federal Reserve to stop and study the new interchange law, rather than forging ahead with a two-tier system. CUNA has asked the Fed to take the time needed to consider all interchange related costs, and set a reasonable interchange rate to avoid unintended consequences. These unintended consequences could include the elimination of debit card programs by credit unions or the addition of new fees that would be imposed on credit union members in order to keep the programs, CUNA has said.


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