HARAHAN, La. (8/19/10)--Louisiana credit unions and banks reiterated their opposition to recently enacted legislation regulating debit interchange rates. “Louisiana banks and credit unions ask Louisiana’s [lawmakers] to oppose the price-fixing and anti-consumer interchange language adopted by the Senate,” said a letter to the Tri-ParishTimes.com editor published Aug. 18 that was co-written by Anne Cochran, president/CEO of the Louisiana Credit Union League, and Robert T. Taylor of the Louisiana Bankers Association. “The impact of the Senate amendment is not limited to interchange price fixing,” said the letter. “The amendment grants merchants the unlimited ability to discriminate against certain ‘forms of payment.’ This provision is intended to encourage large retailers to enter into preferential arrangements with large institutions, with discounts and incentives for consumers who use these cards. Consumers who carry cards issued by Louisiana credit unions and banks will be out of luck. “Interchange rates had nothing to do with the financial crisis and are outside the scope of this bill,” the letter said. “The bottom line is this: A coalition of large merchants is seeking to reduce overhead costs by shifting the responsibility for the payments system entirely onto issuers and, ultimately, consumers.” To read the letter, use the link.