Alert October 02, 2012

CFPB Releases Safe Harbor Countries List for Remittance Transfers

In anticipation of the February 7, 2013 effective date for the remittance transfer rule created by the Dodd-Frank Act—designed to implement consumer protections for certain electronic transfers of funds to other countries—the CFPB has releasedlist of countries for which an exception to the rule’s disclosure requirements applies. In general, the remittance transfer rule requires disclosure of, among other things, the exact amounts to be received in a foreign currency, fees, and taxes; estimates of these amounts are permitted in certain situations. One situation where estimates are allowed is when the provider cannot determine exact amounts because of the laws of the recipient country. The CFPB has interpreted the exception to apply to the laws of Aruba, Brazil, China, Ethiopia and Libya. The list will be reviewed and revised as appropriate, but no country will be removed from this list earlier than May 1, 2013 and 90 days advance notice will be provided. The CFPB is seeking comments on whether the right countries have been included in the list, and input on other countries that should be included. Comments for the May 1, 2013 update are due by February 15, 2013.

The CFPB will also host a webinar on the requirements under the new remittance transfer rule on October 16, 2012.