Why Do I Have To Provide So Much Information?
When you are opening a brand new account with your local financial institution (FI), you are starting a new relationship. And, as with every relationship, we need to get to know one another by providing some basic information. While this information is mandatory, it still provides you with some security knowing we are trying to gather as much as we can to verify who you are. This is the first line of defence against identity theft and money laundering. This also meets the requirements set forth within the US Patriot Act, which helps combat terrorist-related activities.
To open an account, you will need to have some sort of identification (ID), such as a birth certificate, a driver's license or state ID, or social security card. Once you have provided sufficient ID, the Service Rep will proceed to open your account.
You will also need to provide your tax identification number, which is your social security number for all US Person's or an employer identification number for any business entity. This ensures that all required tax documents are appropriately identified. For business accounts, you may be required to provide further information regarding your business depending on the FI's requirements.
At the time of opening your account, you may also have a credit report and check systems report ran. Both of these reports give the Service Rep a "snapshot" of who you are to assist in the set-up of your accounts, which will help you save money and assist in saving you time.
We take identity theft very seriously. The federal government has made combating terrorist activities a major priority; these both come together when opening new accounts. Hopefully this information helps you see how important it is for us to take the time needed to verify identities when we have a new person come in or apply online.
Shana York, Compliance Administrator