On June 2, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provided additional guidance to remittance transfer providers regarding the Remittance Rule, subpart of Regulation E. The guidance addresses delays providers may experience in delivering remittance transfers due to government closures of remittance businesses due to the pandemic. For example, a government closure could make it impossible for a provider to deliver funds to a local agent for pickup by the recipient.
The Remittance Rule requires providers to disclose the date funds will be made available to the designated recipient. 12 C.F.R. § 1005.31(b)(2)(ii). A provider’s failure to deliver funds by this date is an error unless the failure resulted from extraordinary circumstances outside the provider's control that the provider could not have reasonably anticipated. 12 C.F.R. § 1005.33(a)(1)(iii)(B).
In its guidance, the Bureau addressed two potential scenarios involving virus-related government closures. First, if the government closure is announced after the date the provider delivers disclosures to the sender, then the closure could not have been reasonably anticipated and the exception for “extraordinary circumstances” noted above would apply. Second and conversely, if the government closure is announced before the provider delivers the disclosures, then the closure could have been reasonably anticipated and the “extraordinary circumstances” exception would not apply and any resulting delay would be an error.