Q&A: TCF CEO William Cooper On Durbin

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- TCF Financial ( TCB) CEO William Cooper does not plan on backing down after a federal judge refused a preliminary injunction to stop the Durbin Amendment-- a law that will limit the fees charged to retailers on debit-card transactions--from being enforced.

Instead, Cooper plans to file for an appeal in the next few weeks.
TCF Financial CEO William Cooper

TCF Financial has been at the forefront of the debates on the Durbin Amendment, after it brought the lawsuit against the Federal Reserve. Even though TCF didn't get the injunction, the federal judge denied the government's motion to dismiss TCF's complaint. TheStreet's Maria Woehr spoke with TCF's CEO William Cooper about the hearing and the bank's next steps.

TheStreet: What did you think of the judge's decision?

William Cooper: We would much preferred they had issued a preliminary injunction and we could have gone from there. We never thought there was a high chance of that. Now we will appeal that ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

What made it more ambiguous is the judge said that he would like to have another hearing after the Federal Reserve issues its rule. He also said he had serious reservations about where banks under $10 billion were excluded from the rule. The judge wanted to know what would happen if the courts don't rule on the exclusion what would happen to the law.

You can't exclude some banks and include others. He implied the rule would violate the equal protection

TheStreet: The swipe fee cap is supposed to start July 21, but the Federal Reserve Board has not yet decided on the cap amount. The Fed moved the April 21 deadline to set fee standards at 12 cents-per-transaction. What are your thoughts on the delay on setting the fee?

Cooper: You have this bill that is coming down that that will be effective in July, and it will cost somewhere between $13 and $15 billion a year from the banking industry. That is how big a deal it is.

The bill was passed all this time ago and the Federal Reserve basically decides to sit it out. What it demonstrates, I believe, is that the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and everybody else from a banking regulatory perspective has looked at this thing and said, 'Wait a minute. This is a bad idea. We should study this some more.'

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