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Opportunity to Move Forward for Privacy Notice Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives may take action soon on H.R. 749, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act.  The bill is scheduled for full House consideration on March 12.

H.R. 749 would eliminate the current requirement that credit unions have to mail annual privacy notices to their members explaining information sharing practices even when a financial institution’s privacy policies have not changed.   Instead, it would require credit unions and banks to provide information only if privacy policies have changed at their financial institution.

The bill is sponsored by Missouri U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-District 3) and cosponsored by Missouri U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-District 4), Sam Graves (R-District 6) and Billy Long (R-District 7).

“Not only will this bill reduce the costs passed onto the customers of banks and credit unions but also will make it more likely that people will pay closer attention to important mailings they receive from their financial institutions because they are receiving fewer,” said U.S. Rep. Luetkemeyer.  “I am hopeful that this new measure will ultimately be approved by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the president,”

It’s estimated that credit unions alone have sent one billion annual privacy notifications to members since 2001.

“This is a common sense bill that will have a dramatic impact on credit unions and their members,” said Don Cohenour, Missouri Credit Union Association president/CEO.  “We appreciate Congressman Luetkemeyer’s efforts on regulatory relief efforts like H.R. 749.”

H.R. 749 is currently scheduled for the March 12 suspension calendar. Suspending the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills.  The previous version of the bill passed without opposition in December 2012.

Photo: U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer talks about the need for H.R. 749 during his address to the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 26.