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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Fed Says Final Rule on Debit Interchange Won't be Done by April 21   (Misc News: March 30, 2011)

With more than 11,000 comment letters, some raising extremely complex issues, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it will not be able to meet the April 21 deadline for rules enforcing the debit interchange statute, which are required to take effect July 21. 

In a letter to roundtable credit unions, Cheney said the association is worried that if the final rule is delayed, but still takes effect on July 21, there will not be enough time for credit unions to comply with the new rules. CUNA is also still working with sponsors of legislation in both houses that would delay the debit interchange rules so it can be studied more thoroughly.

"We remain deeply troubled overall by the impact of the statute itself, and will continue to urge Congress to adopt legislation to delay the overall implementation date of July 21 and carefully study the impact of the debit interchange provision, particularly on credit unions and their members," Cheney told CUNA News Now.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called the volume of comments “extraordinary.” CUNA estimates that about 5,600 of the letters came from credit unions.

“Many of the comment letters are quite detailed and extensive and address both specific issues related to the proposed rule and the complexity of the U.S. debit card market in which this rule will operate,” Bernanke said. “We believe the information provided in these comments is important for assessing fully the effect of the proposed rule on the U.S. payment system and its users and providers.”

While Cheney is worried about how the delay will affect compliance, he said it also will illustrate to Congress how complex the issue is, which could encourage passage of the bills seeking to delay it.

The letter was sent to Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Senate Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby, R-Ala., House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and House Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank, D-Mass.


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