House Passes Bill Easing Privacy Notice Burden; Supporters Call on Senate to Act

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The House passed a measure (H.R. 749) March 12 by voice vote that is favored by banks because it would let them skip sending annual privacy notices to customers unless the disclosures changed from the prior year.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) sponsored the bill and expressed confidence in a March 12 statement that the Senate would “embrace this legislation.”

Luetkemeyer reintroduced the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act in February. The measure passed the chamber during the 112th Congress's lame-duck session at the end of 2012 (11 PVLR 1809, 12/17/12) but never received a vote in the Senate.

Banking and credit union industry groups have supported the measure, saying it would cut costs and eliminate consumer confusion. “For the second time, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives have supported this commonsense legislation that would eliminate unnecessary, costly, confusing and often ignored mailings that clog up people's mailboxes,” Luetkemeyer said.

“This bill will reduce costs passed onto the customers of banks and credit unions and will make it more likely that people will pay closer attention to important mailings they receive from their financial institutions,” he said.

The proposal would relieve community banks and other financial institutions from unnecessary paperwork, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) said in a March 12 statement. The group called on the Senate to quickly pass the measure.

“Requiring community banks to mail annual notices to customers when their policies have not changed provides no useful information to consumers and represents an unproductive and burdensome annual expense for financial institutions,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said.

“H.R. 749 will help save us a lot of time and resources, not to mention a few trees, that can be better used to serve Main Street customers.”

Full text of H.R. 749, as passed by the House, is available at