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Calif. Privacy Bill Goes Down Again

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-A tough "opt-in" privacy bill which would have required credit unions and others to obtain customers permission before sharing their confidential information was defeated a second time in the state Assembly's Banking and Finance Committee, making it increasingly likely the voters will decide the issue in a statewide referendum.

It is the second time in a month the panel has voted down the measure and the fourth time in the past two years.

The legislative defeat is expected to add momentum to get a similar "opt-in" measure on the March 2004 ballot.

A petition drive backed by E-Loan CEO Christopher Larsen has collected more than 300,000 signatures of the 374,000 required to get the initiative on the ballot.

The doomed bill had the backing of the California CU League because it would carve out exemptions from opt-in requirements for credit union CUSOs and other affiliates.

InteliData Raises New Capital

RESTON, Va.-Internet services provider Intelidata Technologies Corp. said it raised $3.3 million in new funds with the exercise of warrants by institutional investors who participated in the company's 2001 private placement of stock.

The exercise of the warrants resulted in the issuance of 1.4 million common shares to those investors.

ISOs Build ATM Fleets

CHICAGO-A major consolidation in the off-premise ATM business has left a few major independent service organizations dominating the market.

The top 10 ISOs now operate more than 68,400 ATMs, compared to 59,500 last year, according to a new survey by Thomson Media's ATM&Debit News.

The increase comes as the largest ISOs acquired ATM contracts held by smaller ISOs and banks, not as the result of significant growth in new retail ATM sites.

The top U.S. ISO ATM operator is eFunds Corp., with about 15,700 off-premise ATMs under contract; with E*Trade Financial Service Inc., operating 15,000 ATMs, the second-largest ATM ISO. Cardtronics Inc. is the third- largest, with at least 11,000 ATMs under contract.

More Woes For VISA, MasterCard

NEW YORK-A federal judge issued a ruling last week refusing to dismiss antitrust claims alleging VISA and MasterCard International conspired to hide fees they charge to consumers who make overseas purchases.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley denied motions to throw out claims that the two credit card associations violated antitrust laws by failing to disclose currency exchange fees they assess on overseas purchases.

Each of the two companies assess a 1% surcharge on all overseas purchases and the participating banks pay a 2% fee.

A California court ruled in April that Visa and MasterCard must pay almost $1 billion in refunds to customers after the firms failed to properly disclose currency exchange fees.

The two firms agreed to pay $3 billion earlier this year to settle antitrust charges regarding their merchant transactions.

New Faith-Based CU Chartered

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said it approved a charter for a new low-income credit union to serve people who live, work or perform volunteer services in Jamestown, N.Y., as well as people who participate in programs to alleviate poverty.

The Community of Hope Federal Credit Union was organized by a group of faith-based groups and qualifies as a low-income credit union, making it eligible for NCUA's community development loan program.

It is the seventh credit union chartered so far this year.

Foot Chase Nabs Two CU Bandits

CINCINNATI-Two men were arrested and charged with a robbery at Cincinnati Central CU in Green Township after a police chased them by car, then on foot.

Charged in the robbery were Eddie Senior, 40, and Dante Taylor, 23.

A third suspect who served as a lookout during the robbery is being sought. No injuries were reported during the hold-up.

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