Both CUNA and NAFCU have asked credit unions to continue lobbying senators to pass S. 3394, legislation that would eliminate the ATM placard disclosure requirement, while lawmakers visit their home districts during a five-week break.
One-third of the Senate and the entire House face November elections and incumbents will have more on their minds, and schedules, than usual, said CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose.
Credit unions should make sure that any face time they can schedule with their legislators is time well spent, Gose added. CUNA counted around 150 scheduled town halls, spread among several states, and said credit unions and leagues should keep an eye out for any meetings scheduled in their area as opportunities to promote S. 3394, as well as bills addressing the member business lending cap, supplemental capital and exam fairness.
The Senate failed to pass the relatively non-controversial bill before leaving Washington on its August break. The measure passed the House July 10, but would have to return to pass the House a second time because the Senate attached a provision that would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to keep confidential sensitive data provided by financial institutions.
ATM owners are anxious to eliminate the physical disclosure notice because it has spawned a number of frivolous lawsuits following the removal or destruction of the placards.
CUNA reported such a suit was dismissed July 25 against the $4.3 billion Delta Community Credit Union after the Atlanta-based credit union was sued over a missing disclosure on an ATM at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. In some other instances, credit unions have settled.
The National ATM Council, Inc. continued to push the issue, delivering a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asking for their support of the bill.
“The current fee sticker law provides no useful consumer protections and instead has only given rise to a deluge of frivolous litigation against ATM owners nationwide,” said Bruce Renard, NAC executive director.
S. 3394 would keep intact an on-screen ATM fee disclosure, and give users the opportunity to cancel out of the transaction if they did not wish to pay the displayed fee.
“We are asking Senate Leaders Reid and McConnell to do all in their power to ensure a prompt and effective bipartisan resolution of the problem,” Renard said. “Every day the present law remains in effect means more wasteful litigation that accomplishes no valid public purposes and instead ties up the courts and the ATM industry with costly and frivolous lawsuits.”