Banks urged not to abuse private info rules
The China Post news staff
October 17, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
The China Post news staff--The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday it will step up supervision of financial institutions that have abused rules by requiring customers to provide unnecessary personal information.
FSC officials said the R.O.C. Bankers Association has developed a standardized information and data form for use by banks when asking customers to provide necessary personal information, a requirement for opening bank accounts and other services.
They urged all banks not to abuse the personal information protection regulations.
Banks need to increase training for their staff to avoid acquiring unnecessary private customer details, they said.
Officials at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) also said that banks have to seek consent from customers before asking for personal information.
The information asked by banks is not limitless and the data should not exceed the reasonable necessary scope, they said.
FSC and MOJ officials made clarifications after Legislator Lee Tung-hao of the People First Party criticized banks in Taiwan for severely abusing the Personal Information Protection Act, which officially took effect on Oct. 1.
Lee said that some banks have asked their customers to provide a range of personal information, including passport numbers, accounts for Internet services, what materials they browse, personal information regarding family members and friends, and other data that have no relation to banking.
He said that some banks were unresponsive to the complaints of customers who decided not to do business with banks that asked for excessive personal data and information.
Even after some consumers told particular banks that they did not want to open an account with them, these institutions still insisted on continuing with the procedure.
Lee said the FSC should intensify supervision of banks, insurance firms, and securities brokerage houses to prevent them from abusing the rules.