ATM fix garners support in House, Senate

June 20, 2012 – Bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate to repeal an ATM placard requirement for fee disclosure continues to draw new cosponsors as a June 27 mark-up date nears in the House Financial Services Committee.

The bills, H.R. 4367 and S. 3204, have 106 and 14 cosponsors, respectively, following additions made Monday to both bills. NAFCU has been seeking repeal of the placard requirement since early this year, noting credit unions’ need for relief from nuisance lawsuits.

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act subjects ATM owners to possible class action and damages of up to $500,000 when the placard warning of fees is defaced or removed. The law also requires on-screen disclosures of fees; the legislation would leave this requirement intact.

Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s vice president of legislative affairs, told The Hill newspaper Monday that credit unions are being targeted in lawsuits by individuals who are removing ATM placards and filing suit. Some groups argue that an on-screen disclosure is too late to notify a consumer of an ATM transaction fee. However, credit unions and other supporters of the legislation point out the on-screen disclosure is provided at a point when the transaction can still be canceled.

“Short of basically stationing a person there at all times, there’s no way . . . that an institution can make sure the placard is there at all times,” Thaler is quoted saying.