Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pittenger takes aim at 'obsolete' regulation limiting account transfers

Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger called Tuesday for the federal government to study how to modernize a 1980s-era banking regulation that restricts customers to six remote transfers between checking and savings accounts per month.

The regulation, known as Regulation D, affects remote transfers, such as those made via telephone and online. Pittenger, whose district includes part of Mecklenburg County, called the regulation "truly obsolete" in an era on online and mobile banking.

"Banks and their customers are still burdened by rules designed in an era when most bank transactions ended with giving a free lollipop to the customer," Pittenger said in a speech before the House of Representatives. "These rules made a lot of sense in an era when most bank transactions were done manually."

The Credit Union National Association is backing Pittenger's legislation, which calls for the Government Accountability Office to study Regulation D and recommend ways to modernize it. Pittenger said credit unions report that their customers hit the six-transfer limit "in a matter of moments" when banking online.

"We need to change this ... so that individuals can manage their money on a daily basis," Pittenger said.

Updating the regulation will benefit consumers and banks, he said.

Pittenger introduced his legislation in October, but it got sidelined because of the government shutdown.