Bipartisan Financial Services Bills Gain Final Passage, Now on Their Way to the White House
December 13, 2012 -
Two important bipartisan bills that came out of the Financial Services Committee earlier this year are headed to the president’s desk for his signature.
One bill, sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Rep. David Scott, eliminates a redundant fee disclosure requirement on automatic teller machines (ATMs) that has spawned lawsuits by unscrupulous plaintiffs and vandals who sue ATM operators after first removing fee notices that the law requires be posted on the machines.
The second measure, sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga, provides businesses that submit information to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with the same confidentiality protections that other financial regulators are required to provide.
Rep. Luetkemeyer said his bill, H.R. 4367, is a “common sense fix that cracks down on the nuisance lawsuits that have been plaguing financial institutions and their hard working customers, while continuing to protect consumers. This was clearly a concern for folks on both sides of the aisle who saw the necessity of fixing current law. With such overwhelming support in Congress, I am hopeful the president will sign this bill into law as soon as possible.”
Of his bill, Rep. Huizenga said, “While there is much more work to be done to fix Dodd-Frank, H.R. 4014 is a common sense reform that protects taxpayers by ensuring the CFPB cannot share sensitive information with other entities. H.R. 4014 essentially will function in the same manner as ‘attorney-client privilege’ meaning any information shared with the CFPB stays there. In today’s day and age, ensuring that privileged information remains protected is paramount and H.R. 4014 does that.”
“These are practical and reasonable proposals that rightfully earned broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. I commend Congressman Luetkemeyer, Congressman Scott and Congressman Huizenga – three key members of the committee – for their hard work in guiding these bills to final passage,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus.
Passage of the legislation was also praised by industry representatives.
"Relieving businesses of the duplicative and wasteful burden of requiring multiple signs on ATM machines is exactly the kind of common-sense reform in which Congress should be engaged," said Lyle Beckwith, Senior Vice President of Government Relations with the National Association of Convenience Stores.
“This long overdue legislation will provide consumers with full disclosure of information and will protect financial institutions from frivolous lawsuits by repealing an outdated and duplicative statutory requirement. The dual-disclosure requirement made some sense when it was enacted in the 1990s. However, today, ATMs have become common and consumers are more aware that fees may be charged. We applaud Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Rep. David Scott for their bipartisan work in getting this legislation to the President’s desk,” said James Ballentine, Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations and Political Affairs with the American Bankers Association.
“Amen to passing the ATM reform bill which now puts an end to baseless, costly and frivolous lawsuits that threatened the viability of ATM operators and only harmed consumers. Community banks nationwide are appreciative of Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer's work on this effort and the many cosponsors who labored to get this important measure enacted,” stated Paul Merski, Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations for the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Dan Berger, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said, “We applaud Congress' efforts to repeal this outdated signage provision. NAFCU appreciates the hard work of Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and David Scott, who introduced the bipartisan measure, as well as Chairman Bachus' leadership and support which helped to achieve the passage of this critical legislation. This common sense vote is a win for everyone. Without relief, the number of baseless lawsuits would have continued to rise, as well as the cost to consumers."
“The bill ends frivolous lawsuits against ATM operators while still providing for consumer protections with regards to ATM transaction fees,” said Scott Talbott, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at The Financial Services Roundtable.