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Roskam Protects Community and Independent Bankers

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today introduced legislation that provides much needed regulatory relief for community and independent banks. The Financial Privacy Notice Relief Act of 2007 will assist in reducing unnecessary costs for banks and consumers and allow them to continue to compete in the larger financial services arena.

"I came to Congress to remove burdensome regulations and stop needless mandates from harming our small businesses," said Roskam. "My bill removes a costly regulatory provision which unintentionally creates an unfair burden on community and independent banks, which often have fewer resources than large financial service providers."

The Financial Privacy Notice Relief Act of 2007 removes an unnecessary and costly 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.

"While this is a well intentioned protection of consumer privacy for financial institutions that share consumer information, this creates the 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. Furthermore, consumers don't want these notices, most find the notices annoying and bothersome, rather than beneficial," said Roskam.

Robert R. Davis, Executive Vice President for America's Community Bankers stated, "This legislative fix is long overdue and common sense policy. We strongly support Congressman Roskam's legislation and appreciate him taking up the cause to provide the necessary relief to both community banks and consumers."

"The Independent Community Bankers of America strongly supports this legislation to provide much-needed regulatory and paperwork relief for community banks and their customers," said James P. Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of Alpha Community Bank, Toluca, Ill. "If passed this measure relieves community banks from unnecessary requirements, saves a huge amount of paper and frees up resources that we can devote to serving our communities and further support the credit needs of our customers."

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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