U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to prevent banks from charging for paper statements and discriminating against those who don't have computers or who want to keep private data offline.
Gillibrand said there are about 250,000 people in the seven-county Hudson Valley area who don't even have online access at home, mostly senior citizens, low-income families and rural residents. These numbers come from updated Census estimates, spokeswoman Bethany Lesser said. The estimate for Dutchess County is more than 32,000 households and for Ulster, about 22,000.
Gillibrand proposed an amendment to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act that the Senate is considering. Her approach would empower the agency being created, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to review financial institutions' fees and develop rules to give consumers access to paper statements "without undue fees," her statement said. Gillibrand said a recent survey found two-thirds of Americans say they prefer to get their statements by mail.
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