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Public Statements

Electronic Fund Transfer Act Amendment

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Today, we are considering one of the most commonsense bills seen in some time. This bill provides a real solution to a real problem that is impacting banks, credit unions, and merchants nationwide.

Regulation E currently mandates that ATM fee disclosures appear both in physical placard or in sticker form on the machines as well as through an on-screen electronic notification. Unfortunately, some individuals have seen the potential to make a quick buck off a frivolous claim and have begun to remove stickers from ATMs across the country, thereby placing financial institutions and merchants out of compliance. This is exactly what has happened to some small financial institutions in my district and throughout Missouri. Someone was traveling through the State, removing stickers from ATM machines, and then was offering to settle with the banks for several thousands of dollars per machine or the banks would face lawsuits.

The premise of this bill is simple: to eliminate an outdated and unnecessary regulatory burden facing merchants and financial institutions while continuing to ensure consumer protections for all ATM users through required on-screen fee disclosures.

It is important to recognize that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also expressed interest in eliminating this duplicative fee disclosure requirement. In December of 2011, the CFPB asked the public to comment on the elimination of this requirement. However, during the public comment period, the CFPB admitted that it may not be able to remove the duplicative disclosure requirement and that it would be up to Congress to take action.

Today, Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to take action.

H.R. 4367 is supported by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Credit Union National Association, the American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, The Clearing House, the Food Marketing Institute, the Financial Services Roundtable, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the American Gaming Association, and the ATM Industry Association as well.

This legislation has broad bipartisan support from its 145 cosponsors. Among them is the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott), who has been a great partner on this initiative, and I thank him for his efforts.

Again, I want to remind my colleagues that this bill does not in any way alter the mandate for on-screen fee disclosures, meaning that customers will have a clear understanding of what they will be charged before they complete their ATM transactions.

It is time to put an end to these frivolous lawsuits. I thank my colleagues for the sponsorship of this legislation, and I ask all Members to support this bill today.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank Mr. Scott from Georgia for helping this bill along. As he articulated, Georgia has had an inordinate number of banks this past year, 2 or 3 years, that have suffered and have gone out of business.

This is just another situation here where this bill may not be a very big bill in the light of things, but it certainly is going to relieve some stress on some of our institutions, also some exposure for some of our merchants. I think, as our distinguished chairman articulated, it's time to put some of these folks out of business as well.

I have had, unfortunately, some of these things go on in my district, and this is how it was brought to my attention. But I think we have come together as a group, and we had a great meeting the other day in Financial Services and had strong bipartisan support. We have the support in the Senate.

With that, I will close and ask for the support of the body.

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