Joe West Company

Banking/Financial

Banking/Financial

Contacts:
Tim Driskill 
Andy Soares                             
918-660-0090                               
   
We presently provide service to banks up to $500 million in asset size.  Our agents have 50 years of experience serving Financial Institutions. Our markets include:

    Chubb
    Travelers
    One Beacon
    Fidelity & Deposit
    Progressive
    America First
    Banc Insure
    American International Group

We provide the full range of coverage needed by financial institutions including:

    Bankers Blanket Bond
    Directors and Officers
    Property
    Repossessed Property
    General Liability
    Auto
    Umbrella
    Excess FDIC
    Plastic Card

If you would like one of our experts to review your current coverages with you to assess your current risk level and to see if we can offer a more comprehensive and cost effective policy, contact us here.

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Class Actions Against Community Banks Cite ATM Signage and Disclosure Issues

The Consumer Advocacy Center (CAC) and other plaintiff attorneys continue to file Class
actions against community banks.  The purported public purpose of these suits is to help
consumers “vindicate their rights against banks who charge deceptive late fees . . . and
other businesses that attempt to take advantage of the ordinary consumer.”

In a recent case, an Illinois bank settled an ATM disclosure action for $113,750, plus
payment of $86,250 in attorneys’ fees to the CAC. Similar cases are being filed around the
country. The suits allege violations of the EFT Act, Reg E, the Expedited Funds
Availability Act and Reg CC.1 They allege that the banks failed in their statutory duty to
post fee notices externally next to each machine, as well as fee and withdrawal
restriction notices on the ATM screens themselves when charging non-customers a
transaction service fee for using the ATM. The statutes require posting external notice of
potential fees and notice that any funds deposited may not immediately be available for
withdrawal. In most cases, notice was posted on the screens, and non-customers had to
agree to a possible fee before continuing, but the absence of the external sign on the
physical ATM created statutory non-compliance.  In one case, signage on the ATM had been
vandalized; the bank now has to prove it had no opportunity to replace the stolen fee
notice signs in order to come within the “safe harbor” provision and defeat the monetary
consequences which the statutes impose.  The other alternative is to forego any service
fees to non-customers.

To avoid compliance issues and potential class action exposure, schedule a physical
inspection of all ATMs to ensure that they contain appropriate disclosures on all ATM
screens and external surroundings. Additionally, if the bank has raised any of these fees,
all screen signage must provide notice of the current and actual fees charged.

For more information, contact Kate Russum, Senior Claims Attorney at 800-274-5222.

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1 Settlement agreement available on the CAC Web site. Specific statutory references for
your legal or compliance departments to review are:

  15 USC § 1693b(d)(3) and 12 CFR § 205.15(c);

  15 USC § 1693b(d)(3)(C), and Reg. E, 12 CFR §205.16(e); and

  12 USC § 4004(d)(2) and 12 CFR §229.18(c)(1)