‘Privacy Concerns’: Bankers and Lawmakers Oppose Proposed Changes to Consumer Banking Services | Business

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Harrisburg, PA – The fight to protect individuals’ private information continues. The Pa. Bankers Association challenged the federal legislation on the grounds that it violated fundamental principles of individual privacy.

“The Pennsylvania Bankers Association is writing on behalf of more than 120 member financial institutions to express our strong opposition to a proposal under consideration as part of the reconciliation program that would create new tax reporting requirements for financial institutions.” , we read in a press release published by the organization.

The overview of the proposal indicates a possible breach of privacy. Essentially, as it stands, the proposal would require banks to enter and report information to the Internal Revenue Service on receivables and exits from a customer account. But Michelle Staton, senior vice president of the Pa. Bankers Association, says it goes further. The proposal “would include loan payments, deposits and transfers between a taxpayer’s various bank accounts, as well as other activities with the aim of increasing tax compliance,” Staton said.

The letter from the Pa. Banking Association has prompted responses from lawmakers, including US Representative Fred Keller (Pa.-12).

“These new reporting requirements would not only place an undue burden on our financial institutions, but also raise significant privacy concerns about the security of sensitive Americans’ financial information,” Keller’s office said in a statement Monday. .

The Bankers Association said the proposal would create a net, collecting financial information from nearly all Americans, which would require significant resources for construction, policing and maintenance. “Policymakers must determine how account holder data would be protected and whether a program of this magnitude and scope violates the reasonable expectations of the American people for privacy. the fallout from identity theft and false income tax returns, ”their statement explained.

Staton said a whole new set of data would likely exacerbate the IRS’s systemic problem and potentially expose even more taxpayer data to outside interests.

Keller further explained his opposition to the proposal: “Granting the government unrestricted access to the bank records of virtually all citizens would be a colossal overshoot. This proposal would usher in a new era of central authority over the personal finances of Americans, which I strongly oppose. “

In a letter signed by members of Congress to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Keller agreed with his colleagues in the House that “confidentiality is one of the main reasons people choose not to open bank accounts.

Opposition lawmakers presented their position as a government-level violation, concluding that “this over-the-top proposal, if passed, would further exacerbate the divisions between the banks, the unbanked and the under-banked.”

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