WASHINGTON (5/18/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) strongly supports Sen. Mike Johanns' (R-Neb.) introduction of legislation that would ease current ATM fee disclosure regulations, which "will protect credit unions and other ATM operators from frivolous lawsuits while at the same time maintaining important consumer protections," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said.
The bill, which was introduced Thursday afternoon, is believed to be similar to House legislation sponsored by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and David Scott (D-Ga.).
Under that legislation, ATMs would only be required to display the ATM disclosures on a screen, and ATM users would be given the choice of opting in to ATM use fees.
Current physical ATM fee disclosure notice rules, which require all ATM operators to display both a physical placard on the machine and to provide an electronic disclosure of a fee that an ATM user may incur, would be eliminated.
Johanns' legislation "is common-sense measure will reduce regulatory burden on consumer-owned credit unions, without detriment to ATM users," Cheney added.
The 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.
CUNA has written in support of the House ATM disclosure legislation, and has urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to use its own authority under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to amend Regulation E and eliminate the requirement for on-machine ATM fee disclosure notices.