Answer by Richard Insley:The only requirement will be the steps your state's UETA prescribes in order to be able to rely on an e-signature in court. Of greater concern will be the risk of repudiation ("that's not my signature, I don't know how it got there, and I'm not liable for payment of the fees, etc.") This is purely and simply a risk management exercise, there's nothing regulatory about it.
Answer by Jim Bedsole:UETA is the standard for what is an acceptable e-signature creating a valid contract. Another element to keep in mind though, with account opening, is the delivery of required disclosures. If you are going to rely on electronic disclosures (both from an account opening standpoint and from an ongoing disclosure standpoint) where disclosures are required to be "in writing", you're also going to have to look at the provisions of the E-SIGN Act and also at the Interim Rules within Regs B, E, M, Z, and DD for electronic communications. There is an article that is slated for the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of ABA Bank Compliance Magazine that I wrote on this topic that goes into detail on these requirements.
First published on BankersOnline.com 1/15/07