The National ATM Council has excitedly put its support behind a proposed rule from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that “would codify more than a decade of OCC guidance stating that banks should provide access to services … based on the risk assessment of individual customers, rather than broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers.”
That’s great news for privately-owned ATM operators, said NAC executive director Bruce Renard. “Since 2013, independent ATM providers have encountered repeated roadblocks in maintaining reasonable access to the banking system, as growing numbers of our nation’s banks have closed the accounts of thousands of ATM businesses and refused to open new accounts, without providing any valid or rational basis for such actions,” he said. “It has become all too clear that the largest national banks and a growing number of mid-sized and smaller banks have shunned our entire industry sector.”
According to Renard, numerous NAC members have been told by their bankers that account closures and denials are in response to pressure and criticism from bank examiners, often with suggestions that “cash-intensive” businesses, like ATM providers, could be involved in money laundering or other illegal activities, possibly putting their banks at risk.
“NAC applauds the present OCC action, which has been a long time in coming,” Renard said. “The proposed rule is an extremely important and very necessary first step toward the relief urgently needed by our industry, and by the hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of consumers, throughout America, whose needs for convenient cash are served daily by independent ATMs.
“This year, these ATMs have provided a vital service to the nation in helping efficiently and cost-effectively distribute Covid recovery and unemployment funds to many millions of Americans, and the industry stands ready to continue in this essential role in the days ahead.”