Remittance changes would help mitigate coronavirus effects

March 12, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should quickly finalize its proposal amending the Remittance Rule and to exercise its authority to permit compliance flexibility for remittances sent to individuals in countries affected by the growing public health concern surrounding coronavirus disease, CUNA wrote to the CFPB Thursday.

“We appreciate the Bureau’s focus on appropriately tailoring the remittance rule and the rulemaking’s high priority status, as indicated by the Bureau’s already swift timeline,” the letter reads. “That said, in light of the growing global public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, CUNA respectfully recommends the Bureau further expedite the issuance of its final rule and take action to exclude from the rule’s requirements remittance transfers made to individuals in countries affected by the growing pandemic.”

CUNA adds that, during times of global economic downturn, natural disaster and pandemic, remittances can be an especially important lifeline to people in developing countries to purchase food, services and medical care.

While CUNA still believes the CFPB’s proposed “normal course of business” threshold is too low and would be more appropriate if set to 1,000 transfers, the CFPB should move to finalize a substantially increased threshold as soon as possible.

“The compliance costs and challenges created by the 2012 rule had a measurable impact on the availability of remittances for consumers and the Bureau should act now to reverse these effects,” the letter reads. “The financial well-being of global communities could become dependent on the ability of consumers to transfer funds expeditiously and easily without the burden of undue red tape. The Bureau’s action would ensure impacted individuals continue to have access to remittance services from their local credit union.”