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Fed to appeal interchange ruling, request stay extension

Fed General Counsel Scott Alvarez said the Federal Reserve Board plans to appeal a recent district court decision that turned the agency's debit interchange fee rule on its head and instructed the Fed to rewrite and/or revise regulations that require a cap on fees card issuers may charge merchants for their debit transaction services.

Alvarez said the Fed would also request a stay of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon's July 31 interchange decision.

Leon on that date struck down the Fed's rules on debit interchange fees and routing procedures under the Durbin Amendment. At a scheduling hearing held last week, Leon asked whether the court should order issuers to "disgorge revenue" obtained due to the Fed regulation.

Alvarez said the Fed wishes to bring this case to finality quickly, and would work expeditiously to address interchange case issues once the appeal is filed.

Leon said he is not inclined to let the interchange issue linger.

The Aug. 21 hearing is ongoing.

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