July 19, 2012
Legislation that would eliminate the burdensome regulation mandating that every ATM carry a physical placard notifying consumers of potential fees has been reintroduced in the Senate with a new provision.
S. 3394 was introduced Tuesday by Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), combining the removal of the ATM disclosure requirement with what is known as the “privileged information bill,” a measure that adds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the list of federal agencies required to keep data provided by financial institutions confidential.
H.R. 4367, a House bill that only addressed ATM fee disclosure issues, passed the House last week by a unanimous vote of 371-0.
Like its House counterpart, the ATM portion of S. 3394 would amend the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to eliminate the requirement that ATM fees be posted on the machine itself, a condition that has left banks and credit unions vulnerable to a string of predatory lawsuits, such as the one filed in April against North Coast Credit Union. ATM providers would still be required to disclose fees on the screen and offer consumers the choice to opt out.
By including the CFPB among the federal agencies mandated to maintain confidentiality surrounding sensitive data provided by financial institutions—a list that already includes the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and bank regulators—consumer complaints will remain out of the public eye until they have been confirmed and addressed.
CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney recently encouraged the Senate to take up ATM disclosure legislation as soon as possible and provide credit unions with much needed regulatory relief. CUNA reported that controversy surrounding the CFPB language is slowing the bill’s progress slightly, but legislators are still expected to take action quickly.
“The packaging of the two bills shouldn’t slow down the process much at all,” said Northwest Credit Union Association Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner. “The Senate is expected to move the new bill in the coming days and unanimous support is anticipated. It will, however, now need to go back to the House for their final approval.”
Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team: