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ICTA thinks reform could spell trouble

Could reform of the American financial system inadvertently trap the coin business in damaging regulation?

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets thinks this is a possibility if proposed changes to retail precious metals transactions involving financing are approved. It has e-mailed all of its members urging them to fax or e-mail their congressional representatives stating their opposition to a specific reform proposal.

Diane Piret, the ICTA industry affairs director, says that even though it isn’t the intent of Congress to entangle the coin business, that could be the effect.

The ICTA-supplied suggested language states the problem.

“Your colleagues on the House Financial Services and the Agriculture Committees have proposed that the CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission) be given new authority to regulate the Over-The-Counter (OTC) precious metals cash markets. This new authority would require the CFTC to police retail transactions where I provide or arrange any type of financing or work in concert with anyone who provides financing, including lay-away and credit card transactions. My small business and my clients’ transactions would be regulated the same way that major futures contracts are policed.

“What is being proposed would adversely affect my business and my retail customers who wish to purchase coins or precious metals for their investments or hobby because my ability to deliver products effectively to my clients will be destroyed. The proposed unreasonable timeframe for product delivery will render impossible ALL transactions that require shipping, including e-commerce and mail order transactions. Only face-to-face transactions will be legal.”

ICTA is also at work in the Pennsylvania state budget process. A sales tax exemption for precious metals and coins is being threatened with repeal as the governor’s office targets it to try to raise more money.

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