This notice is to inform you of enacted legislation called the U.S. Patriot Act and how it will affect you.
What is the U.S. Patriot Act?
The U.S. Patriot Act was enacted in 2001 in response to the terrorist acts of September 11th. The intent is for financial institutions to verify the identity of all people who do business with them. It has become clear that terrorist groups have used the financial industry to funnel money to commit crimes.
What information is obtained and why?
To comply with the U.S. Patriot Act (the Act), Penobscot County Federal Credit Union (PCFCU) is required to verify the identity of members applying for and opening new accounts or services with the credit union. Information we are required to obtain includes name, mailing and residence address, tax identification number, date of birth and a copy of a government issued photo ID. Additional information may also be gathered depending on the type of account applied for or opened. Identification and information on existing members will be gathered as they open or use additional services offered by the credit union. The Act requires us to maintain records of the identification used for verification and to periodically update this information. Confidentiality of the information gathered and used by the credit union will be maintained as required under the Privacy Act.
How does this affect me?
The Act was passed in an effort to improve public safety and should not directly affect most people. We will, of course, ask to verify your identification occasionally. In addition to complying with the Act, this is a good safety precaution for you as a member due to increases in identity theft over the past several years.
I've been a member for years, why are you checking my identification now?
We know it may seem odd to verify identification of someone we have known for years. However, to guarantee that nobody "slips through the cracks" the law was written so that all member identities are verified. This will not have to be done each time you visit a branch, but it will be done periodically.
What does the credit union do with our identification?
We are required to keep proof that we have verified your identification. We will keep a record that we are complying with the Act. Our member base is periodically checked against a list of known or suspected terrorists and/or terrorist organizations. This act should have little to no effect on law abiding citizens.
We hope you will understand the need for us to comply with the U.S. Patriot Act to help guarantee a more secure country, making certain the banking system is not inadvertently aiding people or groups who wish us harm.