CFPB Proposed Rulemaking would Expand Remittance Rule Safe Harbor

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Dec. 3 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking clarifying its Remittance Rule to provide more flexibility to smaller lenders and credit unions.

The Rule generally requires companies that provide remittance transfers in the normal course of business disclose to consumers certain fees and the exchange rates that apply to transfers. The Rule also includes an exception that allows certain banks and credit unions to estimate certain fee and exchange rate information instead of disclosing exact amounts in certain circumstances, but this exception expires by statute in July 2020.

The proposed rulemaking would allow certain banks and credit unions to continue to provide estimates under certain conditions where it could be economically infeasible for these institutions to provide exact disclosures. “This could preserve consumers’ ability to send remittances from their bank accounts to certain destinations and reduce the compliance burden for banks and credit unions,” the Bureau said.

In addition, the Bureau is proposing to increase the safe harbor threshold that determines whether a company makes remittance transfers in the normal course of its business and is subject to the Rule. Under the NPRM, companies making 500 or fewer transfers annually in the current and prior calendar years would not be subject to the rule. “This would reduce the burden on over 400 banks and almost 250 credit unions that send a relatively small number of remittances–less than .06 percent of all remittances,” the CFPB said.

The public will have 45 days to comment after publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register. The NPRM is available at