WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed two bills on Dec. 20 that will protect information banks provide to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and eliminate a requirement on ATM fee notices.
The banking industry had pushed hard for both pieces of legislation.
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.
Previously, banks had to post a physical sign on ATMs warning consumers of a potential fee for non-customers -- even if that notice was also posted electronically. Some con artists had been known to forcibly remove signs from bank ATMs and then sue the institution for noncompliance. The law says that physical signs are no longer necessary.
Banks had also feared that confidential information provided to the CFPB could be considered a breach of confidentiality, and later subpoenaed by class action plaintiffs. Although the agency had issued a regulation saying that was not the case, the industry wanted the same protection afforded information provided to the banking regulators. The new law clarifies that confidential information provided to the CFPB is protected.