WASHINGTON-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Senators he is doubtful the Fed can develop a rule adequately protecting CUs and small banks from the cuts in debit fees mandated for the biggest banks.

"There are good reasons to be concerned about" the exemption for credit unions and banks under $10 billion shielding the smaller institutions from the impact of the Durbin amendment, the Fed Chairman told the Senate Banking Committee. "It's going to affect revenue of small issuers. And it could result in some smaller banks being less profitable or even failing."

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