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30000 Ohio CU members urge interchange action
WASHINGTON (5/4/11)--Nearly 30,000 Ohio credit union members this week stepped up their efforts to urge a delay of a government-set debit card interchange fee cap. They signed a petition asking Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to stop, study and start over on interchange regulations. The Ohio Credit Union League said that the petition was signed by members of more than 50 credit unions throughout the state. An additional 7,000 pro-interchange delay emails, letters and phone calls have made their way to Ohio legislators, and credit union representatives met with several of those same legislators during the just-completed two week district work period. Darrick Weeks, chief operations officer of Fairborn, Ohio-based Wright-Patt CU said in a league release that the response that Ohio credit unions are seeing from their members “proves their desire to see Congress stop, study, and start over." Members, leagues, and credit unions nationwide have made similar efforts over the last two weeks, and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill said that credit union supporters must not “ease up" if they want to ensure that the momentum that interchange implementation delay legislation has gained in recent weeks will continue to build. Under requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the Federal Reserve Board has proposed a debit card interchange limit that would top such fees at 12 cents. The law intends to exempt credit unions and other small institutions with assets of $10 billion or less from fee cap. However, the effectiveness of the proposed exemption has been hotly debated, and many analysts agree that the statutory exemption will not work as intended. CUNA supports House and Senate legislation that would delay the implementation of the interchange regulations and order a study of their impact on consumers, financial institutions, and merchants. CUNA earlier this week also noted in a comment letter to the Fed that that agency has the authority to delay portions of the interchange proposal that would address exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions. CUNA suggested that these provisions could be delayed by up to 24 months. (See related May 3 story: Fed can delay some interchange provisions: CUNA.)


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