CEOs Make First-Ever Joint Appearance to Express Opposition to Debit Amendment

CUNA CEO Dan Mica, ICBA CEO Camden Fine, and NAFCU CEO Fred Becker Expressed Opposition to Debit Fee Amendment that Will Cripple Small Financial Institutions, Consumers

Jun 10, 2010, 11:37 ET from Electronic Payments Coalition

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In an historic joint appearance on Wednesday, the CEOs of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), and National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) expressed their organizations' unified opposition to the debit fee amendment that was included in the Senate version of S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. The amendment would lower debit card acceptance rates for retailers, forcing debit card issuers to charge consumers for this loss of critical revenue or to stop issuing cards altogether.

Speaking via live online broadcast, the CEOs discussed the harmful impact of the amendment on their member organizations, and explained why the so-called "carve out" for small financial institutions would not work. The CEOs also expressed serious concerns about the devastating consequences of the amendment for American consumers, who would see higher fees and fewer rewards if the amendment becomes law.

"This actually is going to cost consumers a lot of money.  You don't just pass a law and do away with the cost.  Everybody knows there's millions, if not billions, of dollars of cost involved in here, and somebody has to pick it up," said Dan Mica, President and CEO of Credit Union National Association.

"First, and I believe most importantly, this amendment is not going to benefit consumers.  Let's be clear about that.  This is about big box retailers wanting to pocket more money.  It's as simple as that," said Cam Fine, ICBA President and CEO.  "Our nation's community banks are able to provide valuable debit card services to their local customers because we currently have a debit card system that is balanced and doesn't discriminate against small issuers.  This amendment would create a discriminatory system and hurt Main Street in the process."

"At a time when our nation continues to struggle to find a solid footing, this is the worst time to advance legislation that will only benefit big box stores' bottom lines, while increasing costs on consumers," said Fred Becker, President and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

All of the CEOs concluded by urging Members of Congress who will be part of the conference committee for financial reform to speak out against the amendment, and to oppose its inclusion in the final version of the legislation.

A taped version of the full webcast is available at www.thecardalliance.org.

SOURCE Electronic Payments Coalition



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