On August 28, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued the “Electronic Fund Transfer Act” booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook. This revised booklet replaces a similarly titled booklet issued in October 2011. This updated booklet provides updated guidance to examiners and bankers relevant to recent changes made to Regulation E (12 CFR 1005) regarding remittance transfers. These rules are promulgated by the CFPB and stem from the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
Community Banks must be aware that the “Electronic Fund Transfer Act” booklet contains guidance and examination procedures applicable to all OCC-regulated institutions that engage in electronic fund transfers. Specific changes to this booklet are applicable to OCC-regulated institutions that initiate or receive remittance transfers. The OCC points out in its announcement specific areas of change to be noted.
The new booklet reflects the transfer of rulemaking authority for the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This transfer is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”). The new booklet reflects Dodd-Frank’s amendments to the EFTA creating a new system of consumer protections for remittance transfers sent by consumers in the United States to individuals and businesses in foreign countries.
The CFPB issued a final rule that restructures Regulation E by adding subparts and specific requirements for remittance service providers in new subpart B. Subpart A addresses the requirements for electronic fund transfers, which generally have not changed. Regulatory citations are changed to 12 CFR 1005 throughout.
This 89 page booklet includes an extensive introductory section, examination procedures, and model disclosure clauses and forms.
Now is a good time to review your wire transfer and ACH procedures, especially for those institutions that process international transactions. Are you already in compliance? Have you been exempt due to low volume of transfers? Will you be crossing the threshold this year?
Issues to consider are: full and accurate disclosure of fees and taxes you will charge your customer, funds availability timing, new rules for cancellation by the customer and new institutional liability in the event of an error. This can be especially important, as not only can you be required to make refunds and restitution, but this can be accompanied by civil penalties in even greater amounts, especially if the institution does not find and correct the error before it is spotted by regulatory authorities.
Now is the time to ensure that your policies and procedures are in conformity.
The text of the new booklet is available online at:
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