Answer by Jim Bedsole: I would presume your statements are either paper or if electronic, they are compliant with E-SIGN requirements. If paper, there is no problem with sending the Privacy Annual Notice with the statements. You should be aware of the requirement that the notice be such that it calls attention to the importance of the information. If you are sending electronic statements that are compliant with E-SIGN, whether you can also send the Privacy Annual Notice electronically depends on what you disclosed in your initial E-SIGN disclosures about the types of disclosures that would be delivered electronically and that the customer affirmatively requested be delivered electronically. If this disclosure included Privacy Notices, then you can certainly send it electronically. To be compliant with E-SIGN, you have to provide a means for the customer to print or otherwise retain the electronic disclosures.
Answer by John Burnett: If you want to deliver your Privacy Notice electronically, review the requirements of Regulation P, section 216.9 and look at subsection 216.9(c) in particular. Because the regulation permits electronic delivery, with customer permission, you don't need to step through the E-SIGN demonstrable consent hoops (although if you do it for statements, you might as well include the Privacy Notice).
First published on BankersOnline.com 8/25/08