Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows For CUNA’s Cheney

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WASHINGTON – Jaws were dropping around Capitol Hill this week as CUNA President Bill Cheney began a tour of Senate offices with Camden Fine, head of the credit unions’ most virulent enemy, the Independent Community Bankers Association, to lobby for delay of the interchange rule.
“Many in Washington know that credit unions and community banks do not see eye-to-eye on a number of key issues, but on this issue, there is no debate: The new interchange rules will have a devastating impact on the smaller financial institutions and their consumers/members we are proud to represent,” said Cheney of his teaming with the group that continues to fight increase in member business lending and for repeal of the credit union tax exemption. 
“We are more than willing to put aside our differences as an outward sign to Congress and the public of how crucial this issue is to our industries,” said the credit union figure.
The CUNA figure and the community banking leader conceded that their efforts to lobby on behalf of credit unions and small banks are an important part of the interchange debate, where a handful of banks control an estimated 80% of the $20 billion a year in debit interchange.
 “The thousands of community banks and credit unions we represent want senators to know the truth—that the carve-out won’t work and will only harm Main Street by costing consumers more,” said Fine, of the exemption from the price caps the Federal Reserve is supposed to preserve for credit unions and banks under $10 billion.

The credit unions and banks have joined hands with Visa and MasterCard, the two card giants they control, in a powerful Electronic Payments Coalition to fight the debit rule and have lobbied for a bill that would delay enactment of the rule for as long as two years.  

WASHINGTON – Jaws were dropping around Capitol Hill this week as CUNA President Bill Cheney began a tour of Senate offices with Camden Fine, head of the credit unions’ most virulent enemy, the Independent Community Bankers Association, to lobby for delay of the interchange rule.

“Many in Washington know that credit unions and community banks do not see eye-to-eye on a number of key issues, but on this issue, there is no debate: The new interchange rules will have a devastating impact on the smaller financial institutions and their consumers/members we are proud to represent,” said Cheney of his teaming with the group that continues to fight increase in member business lending and for repeal of the credit union tax exemption. 

“We are more than willing to put aside our differences as an outward sign to Congress and the public of how crucial this issue is to our industries,” said the credit union figure.

The CUNA figure and the community banking leader conceded that their efforts to lobby on behalf of credit unions and small banks are an important part of the interchange debate, where a handful of banks control an estimated 80% of the $20 billion a year in debit interchange.

 “The thousands of community banks and credit unions we represent want senators to know the truth—that the carve-out won’t work and will only harm Main Street by costing consumers more,” said Fine, of the exemption from the price caps the Federal Reserve is supposed to preserve for credit unions and banks under $10 billion.

The credit unions and banks have joined hands with Visa and MasterCard, the two card giants they control, in a powerful Electronic Payments Coalition to fight the debit rule and have lobbied for a bill that would delay enactment of the rule for as long as two years. 

 

 

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