WASHINGTON — The Senate passed two small but critical industry measures late Tuesday involving ATM fee disclosures and information sharing with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, paving the way for the bills to be signed into law by the president.
One bill would cancel a requirement that banks must post a physical sign disclosing ATM fees, while another would strengthen protections for confidential information shared with the CFPB. The bills are identical to measures that have already passed the House, and now proceed to President Obama, who is expected to sign them soon.
Banks have been facing a spate of nuisance lawsuits over the ATM fee disclosure issue, and have warned that information passed along to the CFPB could be used against them in a future lawsuit if the provision wasn't remedied.
Although both bills had broad support in the Senate, they were held up earlier this year by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who wanted to try and force an up or down vote on repeal of the Dodd-Frank law. DeMint, who announced last week that he is leaving the Senate at the end of the year to head up the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, dropped his hold on the provisions on Tuesday, according to a spokesman. The bill passed by unanimous consent on Tuesday at the end of the day's session.
"These are two commonsense changes so it is no surprise they passed by unanimous consent," said Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. "I'm glad we were able to find consensus to help ensure the CFPB can get the information it needs to supervise the financial marketplace and protect consumers. Additionally, today's action streamlines a disclosure requirement for ATMs while maintaining the important on-screen notification of fees that lets consumers know how much a transaction will cost."