WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday issued a report that concluded small issuers of debit cards, including credit unions, have been largely unaffected by new rules that have limited interchange.

The FTC report, which was ordered by Congress, seeks to assess how the debit fee interchange cap put in place by the Dodd-Frank legislation has affected institutions of $10 billion in assets or less which have a special carve-out in the legislation. The FTC concluded there has been no adverse effect on those smaller institutions.

CUNA, however, believes the FTC report has overlooked several issues. The trade group on Friday issued a statement in which General Counsel Mary Dunn stated, “CUNA has repeatedly warned that merchants may collude with larger banks to steer payments through the lower-cost, fee-capped interchange systems. The FTC report does nothing to dispel that concern, or any other concern, long-term.”

CUNA cited an earlier GAO study that noted smaller institutions had seen a 5% decrease in interchange revenue during the first three months of the law’s implementation, as well as its own survey of credit unions that found per-transaction interchange revenue has declined in five of the six quarters since implementation.

 

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