Last December, we wrote about the CFPB’s notice seeking public input on which regulatory requirements should be on the CFPB’s priority list for streamlining. One of the possible streamlining candidates identified by the CFPB was the Regulation E requirement to post an ATM sign about fees when such fees must also be disclosed on the ATM screen or in a paper notice. In flagging the ATM signage requirement, the CFPB may have been responding to a letter from Representative Spencer Bachus, Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, asking the CFPB to consider whether the signage requirement was outdated.
Next week, CFPB Assistant Director Marla Blow, who heads the CFPB’s card and payment markets group, is scheduled to speak about the CFPB’s streamlining project at an ATM Industry Association conference in San Antonio, Texas. The ATMIA was one of eight industry groups that sent a letter dated February 8, 2012 to members of the House Committee on Financial Services and members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs seeking elimination of the signage requirement through an amendment to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.
Ms. Blow has been quoted as saying that the CFPB wants the ATM industry to put it “in a position to do that streamlining effectively.” If Ms. Blow really wants to do some meaningful streamlining for the ATM industry, she need look no further than the ATM signage requirement. We see little value to consumers in that duplicative requirement, which now seems to mainly provide an opportunity for plaintiffs lawyers to manufacture class action lawsuits by looking for ATMs where the posted notice has been removed and then conducting an ATM transaction for which a fee is charged.
We’re hoping industry representatives will deliver the message to her loudly and clearly that the signage requirement should be eliminated.