FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Usual Adversaries Community Banks, Credit Unions Tour Senate Together
Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2011)-To emphasize their solidarity in opposition toward new debit interchange rules, the leaders of credit unions and community banks-typically adversaries on a variety of issues-have teamed up to deliver a joint message to Congress: Stop, study and start over on debit interchange.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney and Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden Fine visited key senators this week to urge them to support efforts to delay the new interchange rules, such as that proposed by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). The two have introduced S. 575, which would delay implementation of interchange rules for two years and mandate a study of the impact of the new interchange law on credit unions and community banks.
"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 CUNA's Cheney. "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."
"Collectively, Bill and I bring the voices of more than 12,000 Main Street financial institutions to Congress. When many senators voted on this legislation last spring, they did so only because they thought community banks and credit unions were carved out and would be held harmless, but this is simply not the case," said ICBA's Fine. "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. This rule must be delayed so that there is more time to consider its harsh ramifications."
With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves about 90 percent of America's more than 7,000 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by 92 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit www.cuna.org; for more on credit unions, see www.ASmarterchoice.org.