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OBA: Delay debit card interchange rule

The OBA has asked the Oklahoma House of Represenatatives to pass a resolution asking Congress to take steps to insure that the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act does not result in increased fees on Oklahoma consumers at Oklahoma banks and credit unions which are supposed to be exempt from its provisions.

The resolution will simply ask Congress to delay implementation of the Durbin amendment on debit card interchange until Congress can discern the impact it will have on consumer costs.  We are working closely with the Oklahoma Credit Union League in an effort to launch a full-court press for adoption of the resolution and we will be asking bankers to ask their Representatives to support this effort.

Here's the text of the resolution:

 Whereas, Under section 1075 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act  (Public Law No. 111-203), the Federal Reserve Board is required to issue regulations that would provide for reasonable interchange transaction fees for electronic debit card transactions and place limitations on payment card network restrictions; and
Whereas, In drafting Section 1075, Congress included language to exempt small issuers (banks and credit unions) from this provision, defining small institutions as those "with less than $10 billion in total assets;" and
Whereas, All Oklahoma-chartered banks and credit unions are less than $10 billion in total assets; and
Whereas, Oklahoma banks and credit unions rely on debit card interchange fees to provide free checking and other services to their customers and to cover costs associated with fraud prevention and data security; and
Whereas, if these costs were not fully recoverable, small issuers including banks and credit unions would be unable to offer debit card services to their customers, and the result will be higher fees for Oklahoma consumers and fewer choices. Because of these concerns, Congress specifically exempted those institutions with less than $10 billion in assets; and
Whereas, the recent debit card interchange fee proposal issued by the Federal Reserve Board (Docket No. R-1404) is likely to lead to the unintended consequences of increasing costs for consumers at banks and credit unions for financial services and limiting consumer choice because the proposal does not include any provision designed to enforce the carve-out for small issuers, and it is incumbent on Congress to revisit this issue and to insure that these regulations do not ultimately result in higher costs and fewer choices for Oklahoma consumers,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives that we urge Congress to stop or delay the implementation of Section 1075 so that statutory changes can be made to ensure institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempted without consequence in order to ensure Section 1075 does not result in increased fees on consumers at exempted institutions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation.

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