As previously reported in CFPB Alert Vol. 2, No. 6, a bipartisan bill that would ensure that regulated entities would maintain privilege when handing over documents to the Bureau, was stalled in the Senate due to concerns of some Republicans that the privilege language should be included as part of a legislative overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Act. On July 18, 2012, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced that he was dropping his opposition to the privilege bill on the basis that discussions for legislative changes to the Dodd-Frank Act were unlikely to occur prior to the election and he did not “want to interfere with any firm’s ability to adequately protect their customers’ privileged information.”

The privilege bill (S.2099) is being combined with the ATM sign bill (S.3394), which would remove the requirement that entities post physical signs on the machines advising consumers of ATM fees. Advocates of the ATM sign bill argue that people are stealing the signs and then filing frivolous lawsuits against ATM owners for failure to post the fees. The bill would require that ATM owners still notify consumers of fees via on-screen notice.

The companion privilege bill (H.R.4014) passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote in late March. Assuming the Senate approves the combined privilege and ATM sign bill, the legislation will require additional consideration by the House, but reports suggest that there is little opposition to either element of the bill on the House side, and it is expected that such a measure would pass quickly.