CFPB will reassess remittance rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking public comments as it reassess the effectiveness of its remittance rule.

Consumers in the United States send billions of dollars to foreign countries each year, international money transfers are known as remittances. Prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, federal consumer protection rules did not apply to most remittances. With the legislation, Congress established new standards for remittance transfers and authorized the CFPB to issue rules that would make these standards clear and effective. Those requirements, approved in 2012, took effect on Oct. 28, 2013 as the remittance rule.

The rule gave consumers new protections and required companies to give accurate disclosures to consumers before they pay for a remittance transfer.

The rule also requires remittance transfer providers to investigate disputes and remedy certain errors. “For example, if a consumer’s money does not arrive as promised, then that consumer can generally get a refund or have the transfer sent again free of charge,” a blog post on the CFPB website says. “An important objective of the remittance rule is to provide consumers with better information for comparison shopping and to generally improve the predictability of remittance transfers for consumers.”

In addition to authorizing the CFPB to write rules for remittances, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau to review some of our rules within five years after they take effect. An assessment of the remittance rule is underway, with a summary report planned for release in the fall of 2018. As required by law, the assessment will address the rule’s effectiveness in meeting the purposes and objectives of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the specific goals of the remittance rule, using available evidence and data.

“We see conducting the assessment as an opportunity,” the CFPB statement says. “Conducting the assessment will advance our knowledge of the benefits and costs of the key requirements of the remittance rule. The assessment will also provide the public information on the remittance market, and help us to fulfill our commitment to be an evidence-based and effective agency.”

Consumers, consumer advocates, remittance providers, industry representatives, and other interested parties are all invited to comment on the assessment plan, suggest sources of data, offer other recommendations, and generally provide information that would assist the Bureau’s review.

Comments on the plan will be due 60 days after it was published in the Federal Register on March 23.

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