WASHINGTON — Experts familiar with the debit interchange fight urged credit union leaders at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference to prepare for the best on the pending rule but prepare for the worst.
The Federal Reserve proposed a rule to implement the Durbin Amendment to last year's financial reform law that could potentially cut debit card interchange for credit unions. The new regulation is scheduled to go into effect in July.
A panel of experts on different facets of the topic explored the different perils it presented for a break out session at CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. The consensus of the panel was that Congress or the Federal Reserve could possibly act to delay the application of the rule or even repeal it, but that credit unions should not plan on that.
“We can't hang our hats on the idea that Congress is going to repeal this so that we don't have to deal with it,” said Douglas Fecher, CEO at Wright Patt Credit Union in Ohio.
CUNA's Deputy General Counsel, Mary Dunn, agreed, noting that CUNA was working “24/7” on the interchange issue but that she “would not want to give anyone any false hopes” about the likelihood of any action from the Federal Reserve or Congress. “We are trying to lift Gibraltar up Mount Everest,” Dunn said.