WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill by voice vote Tuesday evening that would allow banks to opt out from sending annual privacy notices to customers unless the disclosures changed from the prior year.

The Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, reintroduced last month by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., also passed the chamber during the lame duck session last year, but never received a vote in the Senate.

The bill is popular with industry groups who have said the bill would cut costs and eliminate consumer confusion, though privacy advocates have criticized the bill for eroding consumer protections.

"For the second time, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives have supported this commonsense legislation that would eliminate unnecessary, costly, confusing and often ignored mailings that clog up people's mailboxes and I am confident that the Senate will embrace this legislation as well," Luetkemeyer said in a press release. "This bill will reduce costs passed onto the customers of banks and credit unions and will make it more likely that people will pay closer attention to important mailings they receive from their financial institutions."

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