Court Greenlights CUNA & Major Trades in Interchange Suit

Posted by Marissa Anema Tuesday, March 08, 2011 12:00:00 PM

WASHINGTON - A federal court has granted a request by CUNA and other financial trade associations to be allowed to file a statement in support of TCF National Bank's (TCF) lawsuit against the debit card interchange fee provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

With the court's favorable ruling, CUNA and the other associations could file the "amicus brief" as early as Friday.

The TCF suit, filed in October, charges the constitutionality of the interchange provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act requiring the Fed to set restrictions on the fees debit card issuers can charge for the services they provide. The bank argues that the Fed's implementation plan restricts the bank's ability to recover costs associated with providing the debit card service.

CUNA's partners in the requested amicus brief represent "every major national bank and credit union trade association" in the United States, the petition notes. In addition to CUNA, the groups represented, in alphabetical order as they appear in the document, are ABA, The Clearing House Association L.L.C., Consumer Bankers Association, The Financial Services Roundtable, ICBA, Midsize Bank Coalition of America, and NAFCU.

In the request to file a brief, CUNA and the other groups state they should be heard in the case, in part, because the financial institutions represented have "collectively invested billions of dollars to help develop an efficient, convenient, and secure debit card payment system."

The groups want to formally support TCF in its case, the petition says, to explain the detrimental effect the Fed's proposed plan to implement the interchange provisions would have on the "stability of the electronic payment structure that undergirds literally trillions of dollars of our economy, as well as the serious constitutional issues the (Fed's) action raises."

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