WASHINGTON - The House Financial Services Committee approved yesterday legislation that eliminates a redundant fee disclosure requirement on ATMs.
The current law requires transaction fees to be referenced on an on-screen notice as well as on a sticker or sign attached to the ATM. Controversy arose as vandals have removed stickers and signs and later sued the ATM operator for violating the law.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), who introduced the bill along with David Scott, said that in his home state, one man visited five ATMs and threatened to sue over missing fee-disclosure stickers, and settled the cases for more than $100,000.
"And apparently it's been going on throughout the country," said Luetkemeyer, who sponsored the House legislation. "Everybody realizes this is a situation that's got to be fixed."
Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus agreed. "Repealing this outdated and unnecessary duplicative requirement would cause no harm to consumers. They would still be notified on the ATM screen of any fees and still have the ability to decline those fees and terminate the transaction. However, failing to stem the tide of these baseless lawsuits could threaten consumers€™ access to ATMs, especially in rural areas and locations that are prone to this vandalism," he said.
NACS is part of a coalition supporting revision of the ATM signage requirement. Last week, it sent a letter to the committee urging immediate passage of the bipartisan bill, H.R. 4367 in the House of Representatives and S. 3204 in the Senate.
The House committee passed the bill eight days later.