12 CFR § 48.16 - Customer dispute resolution.

§ 48.16 Customer dispute resolution.

(a) Voluntary submission of claims to dispute or settlement procedures. No national bank may enter into any agreement or understanding with a retail forex customer in which the customer agrees, prior to the time a claim or grievance arises, to submit such claim or grievance to any settlement procedure unless the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) Signing the agreement is not a condition for the customer to use the services offered by the national bank.

(2) If the agreement is contained as a clause or clauses of a broader agreement, the customer separately endorses the clause or clauses.

(3) The agreement advises the retail forex customer that, at such time as the customer notifies the national bank that the customer intends to submit a claim to arbitration, or at such time the national bank notifies the customer of its intent to submit a claim to arbitration, the customer will have the opportunity to choose a person qualified in dispute resolution to conduct the proceeding.

(4) The agreement must acknowledge that the national bank will pay any incremental fees that may be assessed in connection with the dispute resolution, unless it is determined in the proceeding that the retail forex customer has acted in bad faith in initiating the proceeding.

(5) The agreement must include the following language printed in large boldface type:

Two forums exist for the resolution of disputes related to retail forex transactions: civil court litigation and arbitration conducted by a private organization. The opportunity to settle disputes by arbitration may in some cases provide benefits to customers, including the ability to obtain an expeditious and final resolution of disputes without incurring substantial cost. Each customer must individually examine the relative merits of arbitration and consent to this arbitration agreement must be voluntary.

By signing this agreement, you: (1) May be waving your right to sue in a court of law; and (2) are agreeing to be bound by arbitration of any claims or counterclaims that you or [name of entity] may submit to arbitration under this agreement. In the event a dispute arises, you will be notified if [name of entity] intends to submit the dispute to arbitration.

You need not sign this agreement to open or maintain a retail forex account with [name of entity].

(b) Election of forum.

(1) Within 10 business days after receipt of notice from the retail forex customer that the customer intends to submit a claim to arbitration, the national bank must provide the customer with a list of persons qualified in dispute resolution.

(2) The customer must, within 45 days after receipt of such list, notify the national bank of the person selected. The customer's failure to provide such notice must give the national bank the right to select a person from the list.

(c) Enforceability. A dispute settlement procedure may require parties using the procedure to agree, under applicable state law, submission agreement, or otherwise, to be bound by an award rendered in the procedure if the agreement to submit the claim or grievance to the procedure complies with paragraph (a) of this section or the agreement to submit the claim or grievance to the procedure was made after the claim or grievance arose. Any award so rendered by the procedure will be enforceable in accordance with applicable law.

(d) Time limits for submission of claims. The dispute settlement procedure used by the parties may not include any unreasonably short limitation period foreclosing submission of a customer's claims or grievances or counterclaims.

(e) Counterclaims. A procedure for the settlement of a retail forex customer's claims or grievances against a national bank or employee thereof may permit the submission of a counterclaim in the procedure by a person against whom a claim or grievance is brought if the counterclaim:

(1) Arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject of the retail forex customer's claim or grievance; and

(2) Does not require for adjudication the presence of essential witnesses, parties, or third persons over which the settlement process lacks jurisdiction.

[76 FR 41384, July 14, 2011, as amended at 76 FR 56097, Sept. 12, 2011]