Bank Reform Bill Finalized With Interchange Amendment In it

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WASHINGTON – House and Senate conferees reached agreement early this morning on the remaining provisions of the massive bank reform bill, sending the 2,000-page bill back to the full bodies of both chambers for final passage.

A 20-hour marathon by members of a House-Senate conference committee finished at 5:39 a.m., culminating in agreements on the two most contentious parts of the financial regulatory overhaul and a host of other provisions, the regulation of financial derivatives and banks’ proprietary trading.

Earlier this week, the group set language for the credit union-opposed amendment that will establish the Federal Reserve as a regulator for interchange fees charged on debit cards. The credit union lobby, which fought vigorously against the provision, apparently won some concessions, including a requirement for the Fed to study the amendment’s impact on small institutions.

The bill will also establish a consumer financial protection agency inside the Fed, make permanent the increase in federal deposit insurance to $250,000 per account, and set new rules for Wall Street rating agencies.

The final bill is expected to be voted next week and sent on to the President for his signature.

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