The Patriot Act's customer identification requirements set to take effect Oct. 1 could become a splitting headache for customer service reps if firms are not proactive in informing customers, according to Charlie O'Neill, Dalbar's manager of anti-money laundering (AML) services.

It's not just about the extra costs and increased paperwork, although those are legitimate concerns as well. Firms need to let their customers know about the new rules and how the regs will affect the collection of information, the amount of information that is needed, as well as potential consequences of the rules. O'Neill said it is also vital for firms to realize how the changes will impact them and their customers financially and, potentially, legally.

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