March 22, 2013 – NAFCU on Thursday lauded the introduction of S. 635, the "Privacy Notice Modernization Act," and repeated its support in a letter sent jointly with other financial industry trades that urges swift passage.
S. 635, introduced by Senate Banking Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is similar to the House-passed H.R. 749, the "Eliminate Privacy Confusion Act," that was cleared by the other chamber a week ago. The Senate introduced its version of the NAFCU-sought legislation with bipartisan support. The bill awaits action of the full committee, where both Brown and Moran serve.
The aim of both S. 635 and H.R. 749 – abolishing duplicative and costly
annual privacy notices – is one of the priorities outlined in NAFCU’s five-point plan for broad-based credit union regulatory relief.
S. 635 proposes
elimination of the requirement for credit unions to mail annual privacy
notices to members unless policies are changed, but with the added
provision that they be accessible to members online. For credit unions
that have no Internet presence – and thus are unable to conduct any
disclosures online – it would allow distribution at branch locations.
In their letter, NAFCU, CUNA, the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America said annual privacy notices are often a source of confusion to consumers when there is no change in policy. “What’s more,” the groups wrote, “they represent an unproductive expense for financial institutions that could be better directed toward serving consumers.” The letter was sent within an hour following the introduction of S. 635.
S. 635 has several original cosponsors, and NAFCU is working to generate more support. Credit unions are encouraged to visit NAFCU's grassroots action center to contact their senators to urge swift passage.