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Interchange fees amendment passes

Late Thursday evening, the Senate passed an amendment that would require the federal government to regulate interchange fees. The amendment passed 64-33 with 10 Democrats voting no and 17 Republicans voting yes. Durbin says the regulatory burden would not fall on financial institutions with $10 billion or less in assets. The LSCU and CUNA are disappointed that the amendment passed since it will have a detrimental effect on credit unions members. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Jeff Session (R-AL) voted no to the amendment, while Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) voted in favor. Sen. Bill Nelson (R-FL) did not vote.

"Thursday's vote was a disappointing development. CUNA and the LSCU is reviewing the legislation for the impact to credit unions and the strategy needed to move forward," said LSCU President and CEO Patrick La Pine. "Because of this amendment, the LSCU now opposes the bill. However, our member credit unions deserve special recognition because their efforts helped three of our four Senators vote no. Moving forward we will continue to provide our Senators with information on how this legislation will impact credit unions and their members."

The proposals directs the Federal Reserve to ensure that swipe fees on debit transactions are “reasonable and proportionate” to the processing costs incurred. This would not apply to credit card swipes. The proposals would also ban Visa and MasterCard from penalizing retailers for offering discounts to customers for cash transactions. Both card companies currently do that now.

The amendment will be attached to S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act. You can read more by clicking here.

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