WASHINGTON (8/7/08)--CO-OP Financial Services has joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and others’ efforts to oppose and educate legislators about H.R. 5546, the “Credit Card Fair Fee Act,” which could substantially reduce credit and debit card interchange income, negatively affecting credit unions and their members. Despite a narrow 19-16 vote victory in the House Judiciary Committee last month, H.R. 5546 is not expected to go to the full House for a vote this year, though the Senate Judiciary Committee could hold a hearing on the issue in September. CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen said CO-OP would maintain an active role in any public education campaign and other grassroots efforts, should the bill be reintroduced next year. “At a time when economic conditions are straining earnings at virtually all credit unions, a material decline in interchange income would likely result in reduction or elimination of rewards programs and increased fees to members,” said CO-OP President/CEO Stan Hollen. “Past experience with similar legislation in Australia suggests the merchants did not pass any interchange reduction on to consumers.” Hollen said CO-OP will work with credit unions to further their understanding of interchange revenue, expense and fee structure.