"San Francisco E*Trade customer Kevin Mitchell is buying a home and said the lender, Bank of America, required original statements to prove some of his assets. “They don’t want to see some printout from my e-mail,” Mitchell said. A Bank of America spokesman said the bank will accept statements printed off the Web that contain all the necessary information. But Gloria Martin, a loan processor for Mortgage Magic in San Jose, said she has been told by at least four banks that loan applicants must have original statements going back two months."
Getting rid of the paper trail is probably a good thing to cut on costs and clutter (I made that move with my TDWaterhouse broker account), but all processes (including transactions with other financial services you might want to use) have to adapt as well. I don’t want to "print what’s on the web" to tell one bank about my assets held by another. I want to be able to let them read into my account, in a secure way I can control (meaning, I decide who gets to see what for how long). Is being in charge of my own financial information a ridiculous notion? And can’t we do it online instead of shuffling tons of paper?