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"Privacy Notices: West Virginia Banks Should Consider Using New Regulatory Safe Harbor"

Banking Alert

West Virginia banks are very familiar with Section 503 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which  requires financial institutions to provide their customers with a clear and a conspicuous written disclosure of the financial institution’s polices and practices with respect to the disclosure of nonpublic personal information.  These disclosures or “privacy notices” must be provided both at the time of the establishment of the customer relationship and not less than annually during the continuation of the relationship.

To ensure compliance with these disclosure requirements, the 2006 Regulatory Relief Act directed eight federal agencies (the “Agencies”) to “jointly develop a model form which may be used, at the option of the financial institution, for the provision of the disclosures” required under Section 503 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. 

On April 15, 2010, the Agencies released an Online Form Builder based on the model form regulation published in the Federal Register on Dec. 1, 2009, under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, that financial institutions can download and use to develop and print customized versions of a model consumer privacy notice.  The Online Form Builder is available with several options. Easy-to-follow instructions for the Form Builder guide an institution to select the version of the model form that fits its practices, such as whether the institution provides an opt-out for consumers.  Institutions must follow the instructions in the model form regulation when using the Online Form Builder to obtain a legal “safe harbor” and to satisfy the disclosure requirements of Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

The model privacy form was developed jointly by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, and Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Online Form Builder includes a link to the model form regulation. To access the document, click on the blue Download Form Builder icon, above.

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