Why does the bank want my social security number for opening a checking account?

I went to open a checking account today at a local bank and they insisted on having my social security number in order to open the account. I have a SS#, I also have an EIN (Employer Identification Number). I had no problem giving them my EIN, but they would accept it without my SS#. I ended up walking out. I don't feel the need to give a bank my SS# unless I am borrowing from them. I was not. I was merely trying to open a checking account. Do they really need it?

Update:

Why is it required? It's a non-interest bearing checking account.

15 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to the source link I posted below,

    "Customer identification programs (CIPs) are now required by federal law to prevent financing of terrorist operations and money laundering. The requirements go beyond just verifying your identity. Banks must now keep records of identifying information and check customer names against terrorist lists. This applies to anyone who opens a new account. "

    "Four data items are required for all new accounts. These are:

    * Name.

    * Date of birth (for an individual).

    * Address.

    * Identification number."

    "An identification number is one of the four data items required by the CIP Rule. For an individual, the tax identification number is the Social Security number (SSN). For businesses, the tax identification number is the employer identification number (EIN) or tax identifier for the business (TIN)."

    "For non-U.S. citizens who do not have a SSN, one of the following numbers can be used:

    * Passport number and country of issuance.

    * Alien identification card number.

    * Number and country of issuance of any other government-issued document bearing a photograph."

    So if you open a personal account, then the SSN is required. If you open a business account, then the EIN is required.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1) Credit. It is a checking account. What if you write a cheque and you overdraft then walk away? You have then borrowed and not repaid. They can post this information on your credit report if needed.

    2) Identification. This way they know who you are. They can verify you are really who you and your ID say you are. They use it to verify your identity in the future as well, if you don't have an ID or are on the phone.

    3) Taxes. You receive a 1099 for any interest income. Tax info is always based on your social. Maybe if this was a business account you could use your EIN, but I can't say for sure. EIN's are easier to change and not as private as your social.

    Don't worry about it, the bank is not going to steal your identity.

    Source(s): Small business experience and I'm on my way to being a tax preparer.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately they need it and you will not be able to open a bank account without giving them this information.

    Ever since 9-11 this has been one of the steps the Government has imposed on businesses such as banks and other financial institutions to insure there are not terrorist opening accounts.

    If you have started a new job in the past 7 years, you have also filled out an I-9. This was also implemented to insure that only certified or legal residents obtain work in the USA.

    SO thank the attacks on 9-11 for the vast invasion of your privacy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is a government requirement.

    Since massive amounts of illegal money is funneled through banks, the government made it a law for banks to verify your identity to try and use it against money laundering. The Bank Secrecy Act requires that financial institutions verify your name, social, address and date of birth.

    If you don't want to give it...don't, but you won't be able to open an account anywhere without providing it.

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  • 3 years ago

    Social Security Disability Help : http://DisabilityHelp.siopu.com/?fSW

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  • MadMan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Tax reporting and ID - making sure you are who you say you are. You will not be able to open a bank account without giving them your SSN.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes becuase they want to make sure that you are who you say you are and not using a stolen ID. They also want it in case you forget your PIN number and you call asking for it, they ask you for your SS# so they can make sure you are you calling and not someone else. It's not like they are going give it away to anybody...

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  • 1 decade ago

    No Social Security # = No Bank Account

    You will not find one bank that will not ask for it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No SSN = no bank account. They are required to obtain it by federal law.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They needed it to make sure that you were really who you said that you were. Also they were checking into their records to look to see if you are doing badly on your credit score. If you were they would think that because you can't make your payments on the other ones you won't be able to make them on these.

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