Barclays Asks, “Are You Still a US Citizen?”


Ah the good old Patriot Act, the government’s excuse for ignoring the 4th Amendment. Today, I received an email from Barclays asking the following:

Dear Alexander
Once a year, as part of our Know Your Customer (KYC) program, a requirement of the USA PATRIOT Act, we’ll ask you to verify and update the personal information on your account.

Why do I need to verify and update my personal information?
Federal law, the USA PATRIOT Act, requires that we have a Know Your Customer (KYC) program in place which includes verifying and updating customer information annually.

What information needs to be verified and updated?

Your name
Your physical address (no post office boxes)
Name/s of authorized users (if any)
Your country of citizenship


This is the first time I have ever received such an email from any institution. Initially, I thought it was spam until I clicked on the link that took me to the Barclays landing page. Apparently, it’s a real thing which makes me wonder why I’ve never been asked to verify information before.

I don’t see how this information allows Barclays to know their customer. I’m sure they can figure out much more about me from going through my transactions.” For example, “This guy is very frugal. We sent him an Aviator card and he only spent $1 and paid the annual fee. Let’s send him an offer whereby if he spends $750 a month in April, May, and June, he will get 10k AAdvantage miles.”

The banks and the government already know what I’m up to. Why carry on this charade of having me volunteer information that they have?

Dear Alexander P
Dear Alexander P


  1. Cue idiot commenters, “Well, technically you CAN renounce your citizenship, ya know. Approximately .000001% of people do this EVERY year.”

  2. When I saw that email from Barclays I sent it straight to my trash box. Didn’t pass the smell test. But I’m coming off a day that my Amazon Seller Central account was hacked with someone switching my banking info to Croatia.

  3. i NEED to figure out how to edit so i can be employed by you and get my baby bottles of good ol’ jack!

    you don’t NEED quotes here:

    I’m sure they can figure out much more about me from going through my transactions.~~~ ” ~~~

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