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News Now

Washington
CUNA Urges Senate To Pass Privacy Notice Relief Bill
WASHINGTON (3/22/13)--In a joint letter with other financial trade groups, CUNA urged the Senate to vote on bipartisan legislation (S. 635) to end the redundancy of privacy notices "without further delay and amendment."

The bill, which was introduced by Senate Banking subcommittee on financial institutions Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and committee member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) on Thursday, would eliminate a requirement that privacy notices be sent on an annual basis. It would instead allow the notices to be sent only when the privacy policy of a financial institution has changed.

The bill is similar to legislation that passed the U.S. House (H.R. 749) last week by voice vote and with broad bipartisan co-sponsorship. However, the Senate bill has some key differences: For instance, the Senate bill would require credit unions and other financial institutions to make their privacy policy always accessible in some form in order to qualify for the bill's exemption from sending annual privacy notices.

"Credit unions make every effort to provide the most effective and efficient services to their members, which includes ensuring their members are aware of their privacy rights. This legislation safeguards member awareness of those rights, but eliminates repetitive notices that are often ignored by consumers," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said of the Senate bill.

He noted that the bill, and its companion in the House, "streamline the regulatory burden on credit unions by reducing the amount of diverted time and resources that a credit union's staff could be using for more important services to its members."

"Above all, the bill enhances consumer protection by ensuring that when a consumer receives a privacy notification, it has significance and is not redundant," Cheney said.


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