WASHINGTON – The House took a key step June 27 toward passing bipartisan legislation that would end a rash of lawsuits over missing ATM fee disclosure signs.

The measure passed the House Financial Services Committee by a unanimous voice vote, and the committee's top Republican and Democrat agreed to seek a speedy vote by the entire chamber.

In the preceding discussion of the bill, members of the often contentious committee temporarily buried the partisan hatchet.

"This is a commonsense piece of legislation that's going to right a wrong that's popped up in our business community," said the legislation's sponsor, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.

Rep. Barney Frank, the committee's top Democrat, said that when community bankers talk to members of Congress about the regulatory problems they are facing these days, the ATM lawsuits get mentioned most frequently. "I'm very pleased that we are responding," he added.

The bill would eliminate a 19-year-old requirement that banks, credit unions and other ATM owners use physical placards to alert customers about any fees they will be charged if they are not account holders.

It would keep in place another mandate that customers also be alerted onscreen of any such fees.

The banking industry, along with credit unions and various retailers, has pushed for the law to be changed because of a surge in lawsuits filed by ATM users. Numerous individuals have filed multiple suits, and at Wednesday's hearing, lawmakers alleged that the same people suing have sometimes removed the fee notifications signs.

Read the full story at AmericanBanker.com

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