WASHINGTON – The House easily approved a bill July 9 that would eliminate the requirement for the on-machine second fee disclosure at ATMs, the source of a growing number of legal claims against deployers of the machines.

The bill amending Regulation E of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act would make the single on-screen disclosure adequate to notify consumers of potential fees they may incur by using a cash machine.

The measure comes amid a growing number of consumer suits against ATM owners for violation of the EFTA's requirement for the on-machine disclosure.

The bill was supported by a coalition of credit union groups, banking associations and ATM owners. Fred Becker, president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said after the vote his group has been lobbying Congress to pass the bill, which he called a “common-sense measure that eliminates the incentive for frivolous lawsuits while preserving a disclosure mechanism to ensure consumers’ interests.”

Bill Cheney, president of Credit Union National Association, said consumers won’t be adversely affected by the elimination of the second disclosure because the bill maintains the obligation that consumers opt in to any ATM fees before a transaction is processed.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where consumer groups who oppose the measure, hope to derail it. The Senate is not expected to take it before the end of the summer.

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