House Committee Approves ATM Disclosure Bill (Misc News: June 27, 2012)
The House Financial Services Committee approved the ATM Disclosure bill (H.R. 4367) - which has the support of CUNA and MCUL & Affiliates - by a voice vote on Wednesday.
"We're pleased to see this common-sense legislation moving through the House, and are grateful that our representatives in Congress recognize the benefits of removing this unnecessary regulatory burden that does nothing to protect consumers and exposes credit unions to the threat of frivolous lawsuits," MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said.
CUNA News Now reported that regulation, which would ease duplicative ATM disclosure regulations could see a full U.S. House vote soon after the July 4 recess.
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.
The disclosure requirement has led to dozens of lawsuits after ATM users have taken pictures of ATMs where the notice had been removed or destroyed, then filed a lawsuit accusing the ATM owner of not following the regulation.
"This is an important piece of legislation that will eliminate an unnecessary regulatory burden, namely the requirement that ATMs carry a physical disclosure notifying consumers of the potential imposition of fees for use of the ATM," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said in an email to credit union leaders.
As part of the coalition supporting this legislation, CUNA's lobbyists took on the responsibility of interacting with the consumer and attorneys groups and to generate support in Congress specifically among House Democrats. As a result of those efforts and others, the Consumer Federation of America did not take a formal position on the legislation, and only three consumer groups raised opposition to the bill. In addition, after CUNA lobbyists met with the main trial lawyers’ group, the American Association of Justice, it moved from a position of opposition to a neutral position.
The House version of the bill is cosponsored by 130 members of the House (78 Republicans and 52 Democrats). The Senate version of this legislation also has broad support. It has 17 cosponsors (11 Republicans and six Democrats) and additional cosponsors to the Senate bill are expected in the coming days.
Michigan has nine cosponsors in the House: Reps. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton; Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland; Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak; Dale Kildee, D-Flint; Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit; John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Candice Miller, R-Harrison Twp., Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Hills. In the upper chamber, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, recently signed on a cosponsor.