Ogden, UT asked in Banking and Social Security for Utah

Q: Is it against the law for a bank to ask for the last 4 of someone's social security number to verify them?

I work at an online bank based out of Utah. We offer equipment loans for things like semi trucks and trailers. We do not have a physical branch for customers to visit, so everything is done over the phone. Part of our normal verification procedure is to ask for a loan customer's name, address and the last 4 of their social, to make sure we don't give their loan info out to anyone else. Someone called in today and got mad when we asked, saying it was against the law for banks to ask that according to the privacy act etc. and that he didn't need to provide it. I wasn't able to find any answers looking through the actual legal document and was wondering if this was true. I did see something about how federal, state, and local "government" agencies couldn't refuse service, but our bank is not a government agency, so I wasn't sure it applied.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL

A: If you work for a legitimate online bank located anywhere in the United States, the chances are very good that your online bank has competent legal counsel to answer this very simple question. If your bank does not have competent legal counsel they are walking a tightrope that crosses a very deep valley--while a hurricane is approaching.

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