Why do I have to give so much information about myself when I open a new bank account?

Q & A Main Article 1

Federal law requires banks and other financial institutions to put Customer Identification Programs in place to identify and verify the identity of their customers to prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

While the bank has some flexibility in what they request from you, the minimum pieces of information that they’re required to gather for opening a new account are

  • name
  • date of birth
  • physical home or business address (exceptions for Army or Fleet Post Offices) 
  • identification number (Social Security number, Employer Identification number or Taxpayer Identification number)