WASHINGTON (6/7/10)--In a letter sent to National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz late last week, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica urged the NCUA to “help educate members of Congress” that Sen. Richard Durbin’s (D-Ill.) interchange fee legislation, if passed into law, would “significantly reduce net income” for credit unions that offer debit cards. “Credit unions offering debit cards represent nearly 70% of all credit unions, hold 97% of credit union assets and serve 96% of all credit union members. For these credit unions, there is no more important issue today than defeating the interchange amendment,” Mica added. Durbin’s amendment, which was added to the Senate’s version of financial regulatory reform legislation, would allow government intervention in setting interchange fees. The House version of financial regulatory reform legislation, which was passed late last year, has no interchange language, and both the House and Senate are currently working toward resolving differences between their respective versions of reform. CUNA, credit union leagues, and members and employees of credit unions large and small contacted congressional representatives to urge them to remove Durbin’s amendment from the regulatory reform package, and those efforts will continue this week with a national hike the hill. While retailers have argued that reducing interchange fee expenses would allow them to pass on savings to consumers, CUNA and various news organizations have recently noted that the proposed changes, which were backed by merchants, may in fact harm consumers. Specifically, CUNA has argued that the new interchange rules would allow merchants to herd consumers toward preferred forms of payment. To read Mica’s letter, use the resource link.