You know those privacy statements that come in the mail from financial institutions? The ones that you should read but probably never do? Well, some banks and other financial institutions are liklely to stop sending them to you through the mail soon. Instead, they will make them available online under revised regulations just adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Until now, financial institutions have been required to provide written copies of privacy notices in separate mailings, on an annual basis. Now, under the new regulations, institutions will be allowed to notify you that a privacy statement is available through other ways, including a notification that could be on your billing statement or in a coupon book.
Institutions that do not meet the requirements must continue providing printed copies annually. For customers without Internet access, institutions would be required to mail the annual printed copy within 10 days of receiving a request by phone. Institutions will still be required to notify customers of any changes to their privacy policies as they have before.
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The CFPB estimates that the change could save the industry $17 million annually. It hopes those savings will encourage institutions to limit their customer data sharing and adopt the model disclosure, which is designed to make the policies easily understandable.
“Posting privacy notices online will make it easier for consumers to access these important policies, while also making it cheaper for financial institutions to provide disclosures,” the CFPB's director, Richard Cordray, said in a statement.
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