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Financial Institution Letters

[Federal Register: March 27, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 59)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 16624-16625]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27mr01-18]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

12 CFR Part 41

[Docket No. 01-04]
RIN 1557-AB78

FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

12 CFR Part 222

[Regulation V; Docket No. R-1082]

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION

12 CFR Part 334

RIN 3064-AC35

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of Thrift Supervision

12 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. 2001-17]
RIN 1550-AB33

 
Fair Credit Reporting Regulations on Communication of Consumer 
Information Among Affiliated Institutions

AGENCIES: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC); 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); Federal 
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); and Office of Thrift Supervision, 
Treasury (OTS).

[[Page 16625]]


ACTION: Joint notice of proposed rulemaking; update.

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SUMMARY: The OCC, Board, FDIC, and OTS (Agencies) have published for 
comment proposed regulations implementing the provisions of the Fair 
Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that permit institutions to communicate 
consumer information to their affiliates (affiliate information 
sharing) without incurring the obligations of consumer reporting 
agencies. Many of the comments have raised concerns about how this 
rulemaking would affect compliance with the final regulations 
implementing the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 
(GLBA). The final FCRA rule will not apply to privacy notices that an 
institution will have sent prior to January 1, 2002, or prior to the 
effective date of a final FCRA rule, whichever is later. The Agencies 
advise financial institutions to prepare their privacy notices in 
accordance with the privacy regulations and the FCRA without delaying 
compliance until publication of the final FCRA rule, and provide an 
update on the status of the rulemaking.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    OCC: Michael S. Bylsma, Director, Community and Consumer Law 
Division, (202) 874-5750; or Amy Friend, Assistant Chief Counsel, (202) 
874-5200, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20219.
    Board: Jane J. Gell, Managing Counsel, Division of Consumer and 
Community Affairs, (202) 452-3667; or Thomas E. Scanlon, Senior 
Attorney, Legal Division (202) 452-3594, Board of Governors of the 
Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets, NW., Washington, DC 20051.
    FDIC: James K. Baebel, Assistant Director, Compliance Policy, 
Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs, (202) 942-3086, Federal 
Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20429.
    OTS: Paul Robin, Assistant Chief Counsel, (202) 906-6648; or 
Christine Harrington, Counsel (Banking and Finance), (202) 906-7957, 
Regulations and Legislation Division, Office of Thrift Supervision, 
1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On June 1, 2000, the Agencies jointly published final regulations 
implementing provisions of the GLBA regarding the privacy of consumer 
financial information (privacy regulations) (65 FR 35162). The privacy 
regulations require that financial institutions deliver initial privacy 
notices to their existing customers no later than July 1, 2001. To meet 
the July 1, 2001, deadline, many institutions are currently designing, 
printing, and preparing to distribute their initial privacy notices.
    Since 1997, the FCRA has permitted an institution to disclose 
certain consumer information to its affiliates, without incurring the 
obligations of consumer reporting agencies, if it first provides the 
consumer with a notice regarding the disclosure and an opportunity to 
opt out. The privacy regulations require an institution to include a 
FCRA notice, if applicable, within its privacy notice.
    On October 20, 2000, the Agencies published for comment proposed 
regulations implementing the FCRA affiliate information-sharing 
provisions (October FCRA Proposal) (65 FR 63120). The October FCRA 
Proposal addressed, among other matters, the form, content, and means 
of delivery of FCRA opt out notices.
    A number of financial institutions have expressed concern that if 
the FCRA opt out notices included in their initial privacy notices are 
inconsistent with final FCRA regulations, then they may be required to 
revise and reissue their privacy notices. As a result, some financial 
institutions may consider delaying the preparation and delivery of 
privacy notices until very close to July 1, 2001. Other financial 
institutions that already have delivered their privacy notices are 
concerned that they may have to revise and redeliver their notices.

Update

    To allow financial institutions to plan for and meet the 
requirements of the privacy regulations, the Agencies provide this 
update on the October FCRA Proposal. The Agencies are actively 
considering all of the comments submitted by the public regarding the 
October FCRA Proposal. Among other things, the Agencies are considering 
whether it is appropriate in light of suggestions and new issues raised 
by commenters to request comment on a revised proposed rule or whether 
to proceed to issue a final rule. In either event, the Agencies do not 
contemplate that a final FCRA rule will be adopted in time for 
institutions to adhere to the rule's requirements and deliver their 
privacy notices before July 1, 2001. Accordingly, the Agencies 
encourage institutions to deliver their privacy notices well in advance 
of the July 1 deadline when possible.
    The Agencies will also carefully consider and address the request 
of commenters to the October FCRA Proposal that the Agencies delay the 
effective date of the final FCRA rule to permit financial institutions 
adequate time to comply with the final rule and the privacy 
regulations. Under no circumstances, however, will the final FCRA rule 
apply to privacy notices under the GLBA that an institution will have 
sent prior to January 1, 2002, or prior to the effective date of a 
final FCRA rule, whichever is later.

    Dated: March 19, 2001.
John D. Hawke, Jr.,
Comptroller of the Currency.
    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
System, March 14, 2001.
Jennifer J. Johnson,
Secretary of the Board.
    By order of the Board of Directors.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

     Dated at Washington, DC, this 13th day of March, 2001.
Robert E Feldman,
Executive Secretary.
    Dated: March 13, 2001.

    By the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Ellen Seidman,
Director.
[FR Doc. 01-7442 Filed 3-26-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-33-P, 6210-01-P, 6714-01-P, 6720-01-P

Last Updated 03/27/2001 communications@fdic.gov