Senate reintroduces CUNA-backed bill easing rules for privacy notices

February 10, 2015

WASHINGTON (2/11/15)--A bill that would reduce credit union regulatory burden and enhance consumer protections by modernizing privacy notifications was introduced in the Senate Tuesday.

The Privacy Notice Modernization Act (S. 423) would allow financial institutions that do not share customer information the option to forego delivery of the annual written notice unless there has been a change in the privacy policy.

An identical version of the bill was introduced in the last Congress, but because it was not taken up, it needed to be reintroduced in order to be considered by the 114th Congress. The bill was introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

"The fact is that an annual privacy notice requirement is unnecessary, costly and confusing to our members," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "Requiring the notice to be mailed only when the policy is changed will make the notice more meaningful to credit unions and their members. I thank Senators Moran and Heitkamp for their leadership on this important issue."

CUNA wrote to the Senate in November, urging legislators to take up the bill before adjourning.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

A similar bill, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (H.R. 601), was introduced in January by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).