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ATM disclosure bill slated for committee markup
WASHINGTON (6/11/12)--Legislation that would ease the current ATM fee disclosure regulations that are, in some cases, leading to bogus lawsuits against ATM operators will be the subject of a June 27 markup session, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) announced Friday.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. ET.

The ATM bill, known as H.R. 4367, was introduced by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) in April. It has 95 cosponsors.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) strongly supports this legislation and "has worked very hard over the last several weeks to move this legislation to mark up," CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said.

"CUNA lobbyists and league staff have met with a majority of the members of the financial services committee on this legislation, and as a result of our effort, this legislation has been cosponsored by many of the members of the committee. We hope that the bill will see floor consideration soon after the mark up," he added.

The bill would eliminate portions of Regulation E that require credit unions and other financial institutions that provide ATM services to display a physical notice on the ATM that a fee will be charged. Under the legislation, ATMs would only be required to display the ATM disclosures on a screen, and give ATM users the choice of opting in to such a fee.

"This legislation addresses one example of an unnecessary regulatory burden for credit unions that provides no benefit to consumers," Donovan said. "As we have approached this bill, our intention has not been to reduce disclosure or consumer information, but rather ensure that credit unions are able to efficiently use the resources of the credit union to the benefit of the member," he added.

CUNA has also asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to address the ATM disclosure issue.

ATM disclosure requirements have caused issues for credit unions and other financial institutions. CUNA has noted that outside notices on ATMs are, in some cases, being intentionally removed or destroyed, without the financial institution's knowledge, and that pictures are then taken of the ATM to show noncompliance. Some ATM users may then use this as evidence of apparent non-compliance and as grounds for lawsuits, and the number and cost of these lawsuits continues to climb.

CUNA recently estimated that the total number of these lawsuits could be in the hundreds, and many credit unions are settling the suits to avoid the cost of litigation.

Other items on the June financial services schedule include:
  • A June 19 House Financial Services Committee hearing on JPMorgan Chase's recent multi-billion dollar trading loss. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is scheduled to testify;
  • A June 20 House capital markets and government sponsored enterprises subcommittee hearing on the structure of U.S. equity markets;
  • A June 20 House insurance, housing and community opportunity subcommittee hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent mortgage closing disclosure work;
  • A June 21 House financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee hearing on money service businesses;
  • A June 28 House insurance, housing and community opportunity subcommittee hearing on the appraisal industry and mortgage regulations; and
  • A June 28 House domestic monetary policy and technology subcommittee hearing on the impact of fractional reserve banking on monetary policy.
The committee release emphasized this schedule is subject to change.
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