Where the COVID-19 pandemic is a global issue causing a significant impact on consumers’ finances, both in the United States and around the world, the CFPB has issued a policy statement in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the remittances market. Section 919 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), as implemented by the CFPB’s Remittance Rule, requires a remittance transfer provider to disclose certain information to consumers who send remittance transfers, including information related to the exact costs of a transfer. The statute also provides insured institutions a temporary exception to that requirement which allows them to disclose estimated exchange rates and certain third-party fees, instead of exact amounts, in some circumstances. By statute, that temporary exception will expire on July 21, 2020.

The CFPB expects that after the temporary exception expires, some insured institutions that currently leverage the temporary exception to disclose estimates may have challenges disclosing actual costs and may cease providing remittance services to their customers if the exception is not extended due to market availability of such information.

As a result, the CFPB’s policy statement sets forth that for international remittance transfers that occur on or after July 21, 2020 and before Jan. 1, 2021, the CFPB will neither cite supervisory violations nor initiate enforcement actions against insured institutions for continuing to provide estimates to consumers under the temporary exception, instead of actual amounts.

 

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