Maybe the Banks Should Support the Credit Union Act

Congress is considering the Federal Credit Union Act, S.2231, which would give small businesses access to much needed capital – approximately $13 billion in additional loans.  This would be accomplished by raising the current cap on small business lending by credit unions from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent, subject to safeguards and monitoring.  Proponents of […]

Increase Competition: A Gift Horse with Sound Teeth and Solid Performance

  The economy expanded at a 1.8% snail’s pace in the first quarter of 2011.  The large auto companies and banks are still repaying Federal stimulus loans.  In April, just half of small businesses report making capital investments, depressingly low for a group that is usually first to recover and hire.  Among consumers, many homeowners […]

Ready. Shoot. Aim: The New Debit-Swipe Fees

Payment cards work well for most consumers.  Consumers pay for merchandise or service, and from the payment, the merchant pays a little to the network and a little to the bank who issued the payment card (a so-called interchange fee, or swipe fee).  The average debit swipe fee paid to the bank is about 44 […]

Debit Cards: So-Called “Government Help” Is On Its Way

Debit cards were working well for most consumers.  Consumers pay for the merchandise or service, and from that payment, the merchant remits a little to the network and a little to the bank who issued the credit card (a so-called interchange fee).  The average debit interchange fee that merchants pay banks is about 44 cents […]

Credit Unions Provide Persuasive Benefits to Consumers

Almost 92 million consumers do their banking through credit unions’ 21,000 branches.  While a typical bank has 15 times more assets than a typical credit union, the member-owned credit unions are able to offer consumers the same retail services at typically better prices.  Credit unions don’t compete for investment banking business, so they avoid those risks […]