WASHINGTON — The House voted unanimously late Monday to repeal the nearly 20-year-old requirement that automated-teller machines have physical placards notifying users of fees.
The bill co-sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., was approved by a 371-0 margin. Under the legislation — which has been one of the industry's top lobbying priorities in recent months — banks, credit unions and other ATM operators would still be required to notify customers of any fees via an on-screen notice. Yet inclusion of a physical sign, which many find to be superfluous, would not be required.
The measure is a response to a spate of lawsuits in the last couple of years over missing ATM signs. Industry officials allege that in some cases the same people who have filed the lawsuits have also removed the signs.
"These nuisance lawsuits have been a problem throughout the country, and the costs to institutions are passed on to hardworking consumers," Luetkemeyer said in a statement following the vote. "Folks on both sides of the aisle understand that this is an issue that has to be fixed. I am extremely pleased that this bill has received overwhelming bipartisan support, and I remain hopeful that the Senate will move quickly on this bill."
The Senate version of the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., currently has 21 co-sponsors, including seven Democrats.