WASHINGTON — The American Bankers Association joined trade groups in every state Wednesday to urge passage of a bill easing fee disclosure rules at automated tellers.

Currently, all automated teller machine operators must use two different disclosures to notify users of potential ATM fees: a notice on the machine's screen, and a physical placard attached to the ATM.

But the new legislation — introduced in April by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., and David Scott, D-Ga. — would only require the disclosure that pops up on the ATM screen. The bill seeks to limit the industry's burden, and reduce litigation arising from the lack of a physical placard. Supporters of the bill say some plaintiffs have removed the placard in order to sue.

"Without this important reform, the number of these baseless lawsuits will continue to rise as will the cost of this service to consumers," the ABA and over 50 state groups said in a joint letter to House members Wednesday.

The industry groups said having the two different disclosure requirements was more necessary when they were enacted, but that is not the case anymore.

In the nineties, "offsite ATMs were less common, consumers were not as aware that they would be charged fees, and video monitors were smaller and had lower resolutions," the letter said. "Today, offsite ATMs have become common, consumers are more aware that fees may be charged at ATMs not operated by their financial institutions, and ATM video monitors are much larger, more prominent, and display sharp images."

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