Know Your Customer

From: James Sexton []

No Joke: Help out!

A while back I sent out some info about a little known piece of legislation which was (at the time) scheduled to go into effect before the new year. That got pushed back to March 1st, but that time is rapidly approaching. That piece of legislation is called the "Know Your Customer proposal". What is the Know Your Customer proposal, and how can you help abolish it? Know Your Customer is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) proposal that would require banks and other financial institutions to develop customer profiles, monitor their customers' accounts, and report any "unusual transactions" to federal law enforcement agencies like the DEA or the IRS. This proposal is not unlike current and proposed gun laws. The government claims it is trying to thwart money launderers, drug dealers, criminals. But what this law would really do is turn every bank teller into a government informer and every American with a bank account into a criminal suspect.

More specifically, the Know Your Customer proposal, as published in the December 7, 1998, Federal Register, requires that banks:

This policy is scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2000, unless we can put enough pressure on the FDIC to kill it. The FDIC is taking public comments on this issue until March 8 -- which gives us just over one month to make it clear that the American public will not accept this outrageous regulation. Public opposition to the plan is growing quickly and the FDIC is starting to retreat on its position. It has now announced that the plan could be "substantially revised."

That's where you come in. This "Spy on Your Customer" program must not be allowed to be merely watered down, revised, or reformed; it must be repealed! With your help, we can hit the FDIC with an avalanche of letters, faxes, and e-mails-which might be enough to bury this proposal once and for all. This would put tremendous pressure on the agency to rescind this plan. And if everyone forwarded this e-mail to just one friend who is concerned about financial privacy, we could grow the number of comments, and so on in the same manner as chain letters.

Write: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary,
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW, Washington DC 20429.
Fax: (202) 898-3838


Of course you should say what you feel, but to help speed up the process if you feel the same way, feel free to use the following suggestions. First, state in simple and unambiguous language that you are opposed to the Know Your Customer regulation, and want it repealed.

Then, make some or all of the following points:


"When you come to the fork in the road, take it" - L.P. Berra

John F. McMullen ICQ: 4368412 (Y2K Site)