The language in the Senate regulatory restructuring bill defining remittances is so broad that it could cause credit unions to stop offering electronic transfer programs, NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker wrote Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) today.
"Credit unions provide a lower-cost and better alternative to non-traditional money transfer companies, who often offer poor exchange rates and impose exorbitant fees on their customers," he wrote. "We believe it is imperative that any legislative approach to the issue of money remittances not discourage credit unions from continuing to offer international wire transfer services and developing payment systems that can communicate across borders."
The bill, which was approved by Dodd's committee along party lines, last week, aims to increase disclosure requirements for financial institutions and other providers of wire transfer and remittance services. But advocates for credit unions have said it would be difficult for them to comply with the requirements because credit unions don't control the entire transaction process, they may not know the total transaction costs at the time the member initiates the transaction.
It is not certain when the full Senate will take up the bill.