Eight financial trade associations — including the American Bankers Association — wrote to members of Congress today opposing the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017 (H.R. 1813), a bill that would impose a 2 percent fee on remittance transfers to certain countries. Calling the fee an “ill-advised consumer tax on a legal and heavily regulated financial product used by millions of Americans,” the groups noted that the proposed law would likely drive up the cost of remittance transfers and cause consumers to seek alternative means of moving funds outside of the regulated financial services sector.
“When consumers utilize banks and other regulated financial institutions for remittance transfers… it provides law enforcement and financial regulators visibility into potentially illegal activities,” the associations wrote. “Policies that encourage alternative channels reduce transparency and the ability to properly monitor transactions.”