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Cheney on NPR talks of interchange activism
WASHINGTON (5/11/11)--The grassroots strength of credit unions has been demonstrated during the ongoing fight over a potential interchange fee rate cap, with over 250,000 credit union members reaching out to urge their legislators to “stop, study and start over” on interchange regulations within the past month, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said in a National Public Radio (NPR) interview. Cheney’s remarks were featured in an NPR Morning Edition story on the massive lobbying efforts that are being waged on both sides of the interchange argument. 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. Credit union members, state-based leagues, and individual credit unions have helped generate the aforementioned 250,000 comments to members of Congress, and many credit union backers met with legislators in their home districts during last month’s district work period. CUNA and associated Electronic Payments Coalition partners are also showing consumers the 'domino effect' that pending interchange fee rate cap legislation could have on their own financial situations via a new 30-second ad. (See related April 10 story: Ad shows interchange cap's 'domino' effect) For the full NPR story, use the resource link.
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