DHS, protectin’ mah checkin’

Melissa and I opened a new checking account yesterday[1]. It was all normal except for two items. First, they referred to my social security number as a “tax identification number”. I don’t know if that’s the bank’s phrase or a government phrase. Either way, disconcerting.

The other oddment was that I had to fill out a form for the DHS that detailed my “expected usage” of cash, wire transfers and online transactions. I had to estimate how often each of those would occur as well as their mean values and maximum values. What a joke! I was seriously tempted to define a few variables, then answer all the questions in terms of those variables. I don’t think there’s any way[2] to give reasonable values there. The woman that opened our account as much as said that we wouldn’t be held to anything on the form. Our government at work. :\

[1] – Our old bank sold all of its Indiana branches to another bank. Our account was not opened in Indiana though, so now we’re without a local branch. I wasn’t too happy with old bank to begin with (this isn’t the first time their system has left me high and dry), so we are moving to a locally owned bank.

[2] – Short of some extensive datamining on my checking records, which don’t even have all the data that DHS wanted.

  1. TIN is a more general identification term used in banking, but for individuals it generally is the same as your SSN. Here’s a more detailed answer.

  2. We opened a new account at a (closer) credit union and didn’t have to fill out a DHS form. I wonder if the rules are different based on how much money the bank-ish entity is handling.

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