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INTERCHANGE UPHELD IN COURT RULING
updated 03/21/14 10:44 AM
CUs Celebrate Outcome
The credit union movement welcomed a federal appeals court ruling last Friday that upheld the Federal Reserve's debit card interchange regulation from 2011, keeping it intact.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously reversed an earlier decision of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, issued in July, that the Fed interchange rules violated the plain text of the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In 2011, the Fed capped large card-issuer debit interchange fees at 21 cents to cover network connectivity, hardware, software, and labor costs, as well as costs related to network processing and transaction monitoring, which put big retailers on the offensive since they thought it was too lenient. "Large card issuers" were deemed as financial institutions with $10 billion in assets or more, which means only four U.S. credit unions would be affected.

However, several credit unions under that threshold have remained skeptical as to how the ultimate rule would play out, as well as how much interchange revenue was likely to drop as a result of market forces in retail and card payments.

The latest court ruling “is a positive turn of events regarding debit interchange fees and will greatly impact credit unions throughout the country,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

By superseding Leon's opinion, this newest ruling removes the chaos and confusion caused when Leon vacated the Fed rule and then issued a stay so the rule remained in place until the appeals process was completed. In this case known as NACS, et al. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, a merchants' coalition challenged the Fed's implementation of a Dodd-Frank Act-imposed debit interchange cap as too high. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and its partner members of The Clearing House coalition have maintained that the cap is too restrictive.

CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard explained of the judges' opinion, "This decision constitutes an almost total rejection of the merchants' arguments. We hope this will be a first step toward restoring some grounding in reality to the debate over interchange fees, not only in the courts, but also in Congress and at the regulatory agencies."

The National Retail Federation said it is disappointed in the decision, and it is weighing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 
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CHAPTER FORUM, RECEPTION ENGAGES CUs updated 10/27/14 06:55 PM
Networking and Awards after 'REACH'
Credit union chapter members from across California and Nevada gathered Oct. 23 at the JW Marriott (L.A. Live) in downtown Los Angeles to attend the 2014 Chapter Forum, which offered a full day of valuable networking and educational sessions for attendees who were eager to share individual stories about the work their chapters are accomplishing.

NEEN JAMES CHALLENGES CUs AT 'REACH' updated 10/27/14 04:17 PM
'Time is the New Currency'
By Wednesday afternoon, nearly 700 credit union CEOs, professionals, industry vendors, and guests had attended REACH 2014, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention from Oct. 20-22 at the JW Marriott (L.A. LIVE) in downtown Los Angeles.

CFPB, FTC HOST DEBT COLLECTION FORUM updated 10/27/14 03:31 PM
Latino Consumers Discussed
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently hosted an all-day forum on “Debt Collection and the Latino Community,” which brought together consumer advocates, industry professionals, and regulators to discuss how debt collection issues affect Latino consumers, especially those with limited English proficiency (LEP).

FinCEN: QUARTERLY UPDATE ON 'SARs' updated 10/27/14 03:09 PM
Also, Mortgage Service Transfer Guidance
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued its SAR Stats quarterly update, which provides information on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed through Sept. 30, 2014.