President Barack Obama Thursday afternoon signed a bill (H.R. 4367) into law that revises Regulation E to require that ATM fee disclosures only need to be presented on an ATM’s screen. The new law eliminates a duplicative provision that required a physical notice also be posted on the ATM machine, a requirement that has created legal and financial issues for some credit unions and other financial institutions.
Following the signing, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney thanked Obama on behalf of credit unions nationwide for his part in relieving a frustrating regulatory burden.
Cheney noted, “No longer will credit union ATMs be required under federal law to display a physical disclosure notifying consumers of the potential imposition of fees for use of the machine–which is already required to be displayed on the screen of the machines. The physical signs were often battered by the weather, defaced by vandals–or even removed by unscrupulous mischief-makers.
“With the imposition of this change in the law, credit unions will no longer be subject to penalties under federal law for not having the physical sign, even though the screens of their ATMs prominently and clearly displayed any fees for use of the machine.
“This adjustment in the law brings regulatory relief to credit unions which own an ATM in that they are no longer required by federal law to maintain the signs on the outside of the machine. Importantly, however, it in no way diminishes consumers’ awareness of the fees associated with using the machines. Overall, consumers and the financial institutions they own, credit unions, benefit.”
The new ATM law came into being as the result of a CUNA/league-sponsored “Hike the Hill” event, in which a credit union CEO mentioned the issue to CUNA staff. CUNA and credit unions have noted that outside notices on ATMs were, in some cases, being intentionally removed or destroyed without the financial institution’s knowledge. Perpetrators would then take pictures of the vandalized ATM, and file suit against the financial institution alleging it was not in compliance with disclosure rules.