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Emigrant Direct’s 60 Day Freeze Policy

After reading a very informative post about Emigrant Direct’s 60 day account freeze clause [3] at FiveCentNickel, I shot off an email to Emigrant to find out what the deal was with the clause. Essentially the response was that the clause was a requirement of the Patriot Act… email included below.

The curious clause was:

1. The Bank chooses to exercise its legal rights to require up to 60 days’ advance written notice of any intended withdrawal from this Account and the 60 days have not passed since we received the required notice from you;

The response I received was:

Dear Client,
Thank you for your inquiry. We have never had to exercise this option. Since 9/11 the Patriot Act states that all banks include this statement in case of a Terrorist Attack. Otherwise transfers take 2-4 business days.

Thank you for banking with EmigrantDirect.

While I haven’t found in the Patriot Act [4] where this clause is stated as being required, the idea is that this is supposed to combat money laundering and help with record-keeping. I don’t buy it 100% and since I don’t see it in many other T&C’s for banks, I’m only a little suspect. In the end, since I don’t think this will affect me, it doesn’t bother me.