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General Laws

Section 2A. For the purposes of this section and sections two B to two G, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, have the following meanings:—

“Bank”, any bank, any Massachusetts or out-of-state branch, any association or corporation chartered and authorized to do a banking business by a state of the United States other than the commonwealth, by the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States or by a country other than the United States, or a national banking association, federal savings and loan association, federal savings bank or federal credit union, which has its main office located in the commonwealth or in any other jurisdiction named herein, or any internet bank which is either located in the commonwealth, has its main office located in the commonwealth, or has depositors or borrowers which are located in the commonwealth.

“Consumer transaction”, a transaction between a bank and a natural person, in which the money, property or services are primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

No bank shall engage in this commonwealth in unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices involving consumer transactions. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations defining those acts and practices that shall be deemed to constitute unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices involving consumer transactions. Such rules and regulations shall not be inconsistent with federal and state consumer protection rules, regulations and decisions, insofar as practicable; provided, however, that the commissioner may make such adjustments and exceptions as in his judgment are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section or to facilitate compliance therewith.

Except for emergency regulations adopted pursuant to section two of chapter thirty A, any regulation, as defined in section one of said chapter thirty A, or any amendment or repeal of any such regulation adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this section, shall, after compliance with all applicable provisions of said chapter thirty A, except section five, be submitted to the general court. Said commissioner shall file the proposed regulation, amendment or repeal with the clerk of the house of representatives, together with a statement that the pertinent provisions of said chapter thirty A, except section five have been complied with. The clerk of the house of representatives, with the approval of the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives, shall refer such regulations to the joint committee on banks and banking. Within thirty days after such referral, said committee may hold a public hearing on the regulations and shall issue a report to said commissioner. Said report shall contain any proposed changes to the regulations voted upon by the committee. The commissioner shall review said report and shall adopt final regulations as deemed appropriate in view of said report and shall file with the chairmen of said banks and banking committee its final regulations. If the final regulations do not contain the changes proposed by the committee, the commissioner shall send a letter to the committee accompanying the final regulations stating the reasons why such proposed changes were not adopted. Not earlier than forty-five days after the filing of such letter and final regulations with the said committee, said commissioner shall file the final regulations with the state secretary as provided in section five of said chapter thirty A and said regulations shall thereupon take effect.

If no such proposed changes to the regulations are made to the commissioner within sixty days of the initial filing of the proposed regulation or any amendment or a repeal of such regulation with the clerk of the house of representatives, the commissioner may file the final regulations with the state secretary as provided in section five of said chapter thirty A and said regulations shall thereupon take effect.

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