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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB announces regulatory flexibility after remittance transfer rule exception expires

Federal Issues CFPB Agency Rule-Making & Guidance EFTA Regulation E Remittance Transfer Rule Enforcement Supervision Covid-19

Federal Issues

On April 10, the CFPB announced the release of a policy statement “Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Remittance Rule in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic” addressing the implementation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), and the Regulation E Remittance Rule (Rule). EFTA’s consumer protections, implemented by the Rule, require financial companies handling international money transfers, or remittance transfers, to disclose the exact exchange rate, fees, and amount delivered to the consumer making the transfer. However, it also provides a temporary exception, which allows institutions that provide remittance transfers to estimate these fees to consumers. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The temporary exception is set to expire on July 1, and section 919 of the EFTA does not authorize the Bureau to extend it past that date. Accordingly, “[i]n order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the remittances market…the Bureau will neither cite supervisory violations nor initiate enforcement actions against certain remittance transfer providers” for disclosing estimated fees and exchange rates from July 1 until January 21, 2021.

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