US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Seeking Comments on Proposed Remittance Rule Revisions

Jeremy M. McLaughlin and Daniel S. Cohen

On December 3, the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the Remittance Rule (“Proposed Rule”) and is accepting comments until January 21, 2020.  The proposal follows the CFPB’s April 2019 request for information on the Remittance Rule (see here for our previous discussion).  The key provisions of the Proposed Rule address two aspects of the Remittance Rule: (1) the Rule’s applicability to a company that executes 100 or more remittances per year in the normal course of business, and (2) the Rule’s allowance for insured banks and credit unions to disclose estimates, rather than exact figures, under certain circumstances. This latter allowance is set to expire on July 21, 2020.

First, the Proposed Rule would raise the threshold for the Rule’s applicability from 101 remittances per year to 501 remittances per year.

Second, the Proposed Rule would make permanent the temporary disclosure requirement for insured banks and credit unions. Specifically, such institutions would be allowed to “estimate the exchange rate for a remittance transfer to a particular country if, among other things, the designated recipient will receive funds in the country’s local currency and the insured institution made 1,000 or fewer remittance transfers in the prior calendar year to that country when the designated recipient’s received funds in the country’s local currency.” If the “insured institution made 500 or fewer remittance transfers to that designated recipient’s institution in the prior calendar year,” it would also be permitted to estimate the covered third-party fees for the remittance.

The CFPB is also seeking comment on a variety of other issues, including the process for determining whether a country should be added to the “Safe Harbor Countries List.”  Commenters are encouraged to discuss the criteria upon which the CFPB can identify new countries to be added to the list.

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