WASHINGTON – With his signature Friday President Obama put an end to a great deal of frustrating regulatory burden regarding ATM fee disclosures, along with a wave of lawsuits, by signing into law a bill repealing dual fee disclosure at ATMs.

But it is not a blanket resolution, with NAFCU’s Steven Van Beck reminding that while the bill changes federal law on ATM fee disclosures, there are state laws that could still require an on-machine fee disclosure. “I know New York state has such a law and there are others.”

The federal law means that a single disclosure of fees, such as those typically provided on ATM screens, are adequate to satisfy the requirement of the Electronic Funds Disclosure Act. Previously, financial institutions were required to have a physical notice on the ATM as well as one on-screen notifying consumers of the potential imposition of fees for use of the machine. The law should stem the wave of serial plaintiffs who have filed more than 50 civil suits over the absence of on-machine disclosures.

Van Beek, NAFCU’s director of regulatory compliance, told Credit Union Journal credit unions with ATMs nationwide will have a little more work ahead than those that serve members in a single state. “These credit unions will have to find out what the state law is regarding ATM fee disclosures in all the states they have a presence in, and will have to adjust monitoring and documenting of their ATMs accordingly.” Van Beek added that it might be more prudent for CUs with ATMs across the country to keep the same ATM monitoring policies they have in place today, as that would ensure consistency of operations and make sure they are still complying with state law.

Meanwhile, both CUNA and NAFCU issued statements supporting the new federal legislation.

“On behalf of credit unions nationwide, our thanks to President Obama for signing this legislation,” said CUNA President Bill Cheney, adding that the law will reduce CU regulatory burden. “The physical [ATM fee] signs were often battered by the weather, defaced by vandals – or even removed by unscrupulous mischief makers.”

NAFCU President Fred Becker applauded Obama’s actions Friday, which included signing a bill protecting the privileged information financial institutions provide to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“This is important, meaningful legislation that will have a direct impact on a credit union’s bottom line and reputation management. NAFCU has fought long and hard for both of these bills and we are pleased the president has acted swiftly to enact them into law.”

 

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