CU Lobbyists Vow Not To Give Up Interchange Fight

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LAS VEGAS – The final vote on the massive bank reform bill is expected as early as this week, and despite the fact it is almost guaranteed to contain the Durbin interchange amendment bitterly opposed by credit unions, the battle is not over.

During the course of weeks of negotiations on Capitol Hill, one element lobbyists for credit unions and community banks were able to change was a carve-out for financial institutions with less than $10 million in assets. However, this was seen as a hollow victory because “it would be great if the carve-out works, but we don’t believe it will work,” said Ryan Donovan, VP of legislative affairs for CUNA. “There is no incentive to do so, because merchants will be able to discount between card networks.”

During the joint CUNA/World Council of Credit Unions  “1 Credit Union Conference” here Monday, Donovan was joined by Mary Dunn, CUNA’s SVP and deputy general counsel, and Stan Hollen, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. All three said the full effect of interchange legislation will take many months to be felt, but vowed to fight for credit unions’ interests. “We will continue to try to make the carve-out work, but if it does not work, we will return to Congress to fix it or repeal it,” said Donovan. “It will take all of us working together,” said Dunn. Added Hollen, “From early on we could see this was not good legislation.


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