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ICBA Raises Concerns About FACT Act Effective Dates

WWR ARTICLE - January 16, 2004

The ICBA raised concerns with the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about proposed effective dates for the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, since forthcoming regulations will require procedural changes by banks.

The FACT Act extends federal preemptions on credit reporting under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and establishes new requirements to protect against identity theft. The Federal Reserve and the FTC have proposed three effective dates.

The first effective date, December 31, 2003, ensures there are no gaps between the sunset of certain FCRA provisions and the FACT Act's extension of them. The second date, March 31, 2004, would apply to statutory provisions the agencies do not believe require "significant changes to business procedures." The third date, December 1, 2004, would apply to provisions that require changes to business procedure or regulatory action.

The ICBA did not object to the first two proposed dates. However, the ICBA raised serious concerns about a proposed December 1, 2004, date for the remaining provisions, since many of these provisions will require new regulations or, at a minimum, further guidance from federal regulators. As credit reporting and identity theft rules are issued, banks will need time to adapt procedures, ICBA said. Accordingly, where necessary, the agencies should be prepared to extend the December 1 date.

The ICBA letter is available at www.icba.org.