The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”) issued a final rule in May 2020 amending the Remittance Rule of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act effective July 21 2020, and the Bureau released a policy statement in April 2020 regarding concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau released Remittance Rule FAQs related to COVID-19. The FAQs address whether the remittance transfer provider’s failure to deliver funds by the disclosed date would be such an error under the Remittance Rule (“Rule”) if the provider could not have reasonably anticipated a government-mandated closure. In light of COVID-19, the Bureau understands that closures may prevent delivering or transmitting a remittance transfer by the disclosed date of availability. The Remittance Rule requires a remittance transfer provider to disclose the date on which funds will be available in the foreign country to the designated recipient and failure to deliver by the disclosed date would be an error. However, the Rule also states that such a failure is not an error if it resulted from extraordinary circumstances outside the remittance transfer provider’s control that the provider could not have reasonably anticipated, which includes government actions or restrictions. Further, the FAQs provides illustrative examples of a government-mandated closures that could and could not be reasonably anticipated by a remittance transfer provider and, based on the facts and circumstances, if the remittance transfer would be an error pursuant to the Rule.