October 25, 2007 / 2:11 PM / 12 years ago

U.S. regulators require opt-out on bank solicitations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banking regulators issued final rules on Thursday aimed at reducing the clutter of unwanted marketing solicitations to prospective financial institution customers.

The final rules ban financial institutions from using customer information from affiliates to make marketing solicitations to those affiliates’ customers without first giving them a simple method to “opt out” of such pitches.

The rules, which implement amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, must ensure that customers are given clear notice of an opportunity to refuse such solicitations.

The regulatory agencies gave examples of such opt-out methods as toll-free telephone numbers, Internet web sites and self-addressed return mail envelopes.

“We believe this rule strikes an appropriate balance between giving consumers control over unwanted solicitations and allowing them to get information about potentially valuable products and services,” Federal Reserve Board Governor Randall Kroszner said in a statement.

The final rules apply to information obtained from the customer’s transactions or account relationships with an affiliate, from any application the customer submits to an affiliate, and from third party sources, such as credit reports.

The rules, issued by the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, will be come effective on January 1, 2008.

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