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Important Regulatory Topic

Charge for Consumer Credit Reports

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced that the maximum allowable charge for consumer credit reports will increase for 2021. Under Section 612(f)(2) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the CFPB is required to adjust this dollar amount ceiling each year based on the changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). When this rule was first implemented in 1997, the ceiling was set at $8.00. Over time, the ceiling has been adjusted from this $8.00 to the ceiling of $12.50 in 2020.

For 2021, the ceiling will increase to $13.00.

Note: The fee referred to does not apply to the free annual credit reports that are provided under Section 211(a) of the FACT Act of 2003. However, the fee does apply in situations where a consumer has already received a free annual credit report and does not otherwise qualify for another one.

Regulatory Questions and Answers


Are Banks required to provide full Regulation E disclosures when they re-issue a debit card to customers who have lost their card?


No, Section 1005.7 of Regulation E requires that the Bank provide disclosures “at the time a consumer contracts for electronic fund transfer service or before the first electronic fund transfer is made …” Comment 1 to Section 1005.7(a) of Regulation E further explains that the disclosure must be given in close proximity to the event requiring disclosure, such as when the consumer contracts for a new service. In this case the Bank is not providing a new electronic fund transfer service but simple replacing one.

Reference: FDIC Compliance Manual, Regulation E, Section 1005.7, and Section 1005.7(a).


A Bank is considering using SMS (text) messaging to alert customers that the services they subscribe to (online/mobile banking) will have a temporary service interruption. This will NOT be a marketing message. Would the customer need to provide prior consent for the Bank to send a text message regarding the service interruption?


Yes, it appears that prior consent is required. While the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) includes “emergency purposes”, exception to its general prohibition on making automated or pre-recorded calls or sending texts to a cellular telephone number without the called parties prior consent, the definition of “emergency purposes” is limited. The FCC interprets this to mean, “calls made necessary in any situation affecting the health and safety of consumers”.

Reference: FDIC Consumer Compliance Manual, Section VIII, Subsection 5.2