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Public Statements

Roskam Bill to Remove Burdensome Banking Regulations Passes House, Saving to Consumers

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressmen Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) championed yesterday's passage of H.R. 6312, the Credit Union, Bank, and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act of 2008, which contained a provision Roskam authored to remove unnecessary and burdensome regulations that increase costs for patrons of community and independent banks.

Roskam's bill, the Financial Privacy Notice Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 1967), will now assist in reducing unnecessary costs for banks and consumers by removing a stipulation under Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), which requires annual privacy notices to be provided to all consumers. These notices are required regardless of whether or not the policies have changed and whether or not the companies share a customer's financial information.

"In times of economic downturn, the government should be looking for any responsible way to remove unnecessary regulations that harm consumers, small businesses and the economy," said Roskam. "While this is a well intentioned protection of consumer privacy for financial institutions that share consumer information, this created an unintended mandate to force smaller banks to spend money every year drafting, printing and mailing privacy statements to consumers when their information has not been shared, nor has their private policy been changed. Such costs are directly passed on to consumers."

This legislation is supported by America's Community Bankers, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the American Bankers Association.

"This provision provides much-needed regulatory and paperwork relief for community banks and their customers," said Karen Thomas, the Independent Community Bankers of America's Executive Vice President for Government Relations. "On behalf of ICBA, I would like to thank Congressman Roskam for his long-standing support of regulatory relief for community banks, and for championing this portion of the larger regulatory relief bill that passed today."

"The American Bankers Association supports this important provision because it will relieve banks from the burden of sending out an annual privacy notice even when there has been no change to the bank's privacy policy during the year," said Debbie Shannon, House Manager, ABA. "This will not only save banks the burden and cost of sending out notices, but will help consumers in that they will only receive notices if there is a change in the bank's privacy policy. We thank Congressman Roskam for taking the lead on this important regulatory relief measure."

It is important to note that financial institutions will be exempt from sending privacy notices only if they do not share personal financial information with third parties and do not change their privacy policy. This should not be confused with the privacy policy banks must provide to consumers when they open an account, which would still have to occur.


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