The U.S. Department of the Treasury is requesting that depository institutions refrain
from imposing ATM surcharges on Hurricane Katrina evacuees who use the FEMA
Assistance Card to obtain cash from ATMs. The FEMA Assistance Card is a
Mastercard-branded debit card that is being issued by Treasury in order to provide
Katrina evacuees with access to FEMA benefits.
The FEMA Assistance Card may be used to make point-of-sale purchases at any
merchant that accepts Mastercard, and may also be used to withdraw funds from an
ATM through use of a Personal Identification Number (PIIV). Cardholders may already
use the card without incurring a surcharge at any ATM participating in the Allpoint
network, and at any ATM owned by JP Morgan Chase, the card issuing bank, including
Bank One locations. In light of the urgent need of Katrina evacuees for access to funds
for purchasing basic needs, Treasury is urging all other depository institutions to
voluntarily waive surcharges at other ATMs where the card can be used. Banks and
ATM owners should contact their card associations, network providers or processors for
information necessary to identify these cards.
On September 1,2005, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of ThA Supervision (the
agencies), and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors asked insured depository
institutions to consider all reasonable and prudent steps to help meet the critical financial
needs of their customers and communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. The agencies
stated that such actions may include waiving ATM fees for customers and noncustomers.