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FDIC Federal Register Citations
[Federal Register: December 10, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 236)]
[Notices]
[Page 69729-69733]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10de07-121]
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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Office of Thrift Supervision

NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB
Review; Joint Comment Request

AGENCIES: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Treasury;
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Office of Thrift Supervision
(OTS), Treasury; National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); and the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) (collectively, the
Agencies).

ACTION: Joint information collection to be submitted to OMB for review
and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, the OCC, FDIC, OTS,
NCUA, and FTC are submitting for Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
review the information collection associated with a proposed study that
will use a written survey to be completed by financial institutions and
other persons who are creditors or users of consumer reports. The Board
has approved this information collection under its delegated authority
from OMB. The Agencies will use the Survey responses to prepare the
initial report to the Congress (the Report) on information sharing
practices by financial institutions, creditors, or users of consumer
reports with their affiliates. The Agencies are statutorily required to
jointly submit the Report with any recommendations for legislative or
regulatory action. To conduct the Survey, the OCC, FDIC, OTS, NCUA, and
FTC first seek additional public comment regarding this notice, which
is the second of two notices required by the PRA, and will seek OMB
review of, and clearance for, the collection of information discussed
herein.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 9, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact any of the individuals
named below. In addition, copies of the Board's draft Survey instrument
and related instructions will be made available on the Board's public
Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/reportforms/review.cfm
 under ``Recently Approved and Pending Implementation'' (see
entry for FR 3214e). Please contact the other agencies to request a
copy of their draft Survey instrument and instructions.

    OCC: Mary Gottlieb, OCC Clearance Officer, Legislative and
Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 874-5090,
mary.gottlieb@occ.treas.gov
.

    Board: Kathleen Conley, Supervisory Consumer Financial Services
Analyst, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, (202) 452-2389; or
Michelle Shore, Federal Reserve Clearance Officer, Division of Research
and Statistics, (202) 452-3829; Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
(TDD) users may call (202) 263-4869.

    FDIC: Richard M. Schwartz, Counsel, (202) 898-7424; or Leneta G.
Gregorie, Counsel, (202) 898-3719.

    OTS: Ira L. Mills, OTS Clearance Officer, (202) 906-6531; or
Suzanne McQueen, Consumer Regulations Analyst, Compliance and Consumer
Protection Division, (202) 906-6459.

    NCUA: Regina M. Metz, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel,
(703) 518-6540; or Matthew Biliouris, Program Officer, Examination and
Insurance, (703) 518-6394.

    FTC: Sandra McCarthy, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity
Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-2252; or Margaret
Patterson, Economist, Bureau of Economics, (202) 326-3472.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Title: Survey of Information Sharing Practices with Affiliates
(``Survey'').
    Frequency of Response: Every three years.
    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.
    Type of Review: New collection.

OCC

    OMB Number: 1557-NEW.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 40.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.

[[Page 69730]]

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 400 hours.

Board

    OMB Number: 7100-NEW.
    Form Number: FR 3214e.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 60.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 600 hours.

FDIC

    OMB Number: 3064-NEW.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,000 hours.

OTS

    OMB Number: 1550-NEW.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 300 hours.

NCUA

    OMB Number: 3133-NEW.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 50.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 500 hours.

FTC

    OMB Number: 3084-NEW.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.
    Estimated Average Time per Response: 10 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 200 hours.

General Description of Report

    This information collection is voluntary for financial institution
respondents and authorized pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 481 and 484 (national
banks); 12 U.S.C. 248(a)(1) (state member banks); 12 U.S.C. 1463 and
1464 (savings associations); 12 U.S.C. 1766(a) and 1789(a) (credit
unions); and 12 U.S.C. 1819(a) (Eighth) (state non-member banks and
state branches of any foreign bank). The FTC's authority to collect
this information is 15 U.S.C. 46(b). Under this section, the FTC may
issue compulsory process to persons, partnerships, and corporations
from which it seeks to collect information. Confidentiality will be
determined on a case-by-case basis under applicable Federal law.
Confidentiality for respondents under the FTC's jurisdiction will be
protected in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15
U.S.C. 41 et seq. (``FTC Act''), and the FTC's Rules of Practice.

Abstract

    The Agencies will gather information by means of a survey to be
completed by financial institutions and other persons that are
creditors or users of consumer reports (``respondents'').\1\ The
Agencies will use the Survey responses to prepare the Report on the
information sharing practices by financial institutions, creditors, or
users of consumer reports with their affiliates. The Agencies are
required to jointly submit the Report together with any recommendations
for legislative or regulatory action, pursuant to Section 214(e) of the
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (``FACT Act'' or the
``Act'') Pub. L. 108-159, 117 Stat. 1952.
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    \1\ See section 214(e) of the FACT Act for a description of the
type of information that will be collected.
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Summary of Comments

    On August 31, 2006, pursuant to the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, the
Agencies published a notice in the Federal Register (71 FR 51888)
requesting public comment for 60 days on a proposed information
collection concerning the Survey. The comment period for this notice
expired on October 30, 2006. The Agencies received five comment letters
from four trade associations and one individual. Currently, the OCC,
FDIC, OTS, NCUA, and FTC are soliciting comment on the implementation
of the proposed information collection. The Board has approved this
information collection under its delegated authority from OMB.

Survey Methodology

    One commenter requested that the Agencies describe the methods they
would use to conduct the Survey and the methods they would use to
analyze the results. Each Agency will conduct a non-statistical,
qualitative survey of a limited number of regulated entities under its
supervision.
    Commenters also requested clarification as to: (i) Which
institution or affiliate in an organization would be asked to respond
to the Survey and (ii) whether that respondent would be asked to
provide information regarding not only the sharing of information with,
but also the receipt of information from, its affiliates.
    Respondents will not be asked to provide data regarding information
sharing practices on a combined basis for it, its affiliates, and its
corporate parent; rather the Survey will ask only about sharing for
that particular respondent.\2\ The Agencies note that the Survey will
focus on a respondent's general practices and will ask a respondent to
provide information not only about its sharing of information with its
affiliates, but also about its receipt of information from its
affiliates.
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    \2\ The OCC, however, because of the way some national banks are
structured, may collect information from a single respondent
regarding more than one affiliated national bank.
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Survey Information

    Some commenters stated that the Survey should include definitions
and instructions. The commenters also noted that the draft Survey
assumes that an organization has only one policy on information sharing
practices with all affiliates, when in fact such practices might vary
by affiliate, by product, or by state. For example, one commenter noted
that the draft did not take into account numerous variations in
affiliate sharing practices within a single firm and, as a result, in
many cases, the response options provided were inapplicable,
inaccurate, or incomplete.
    One commenter suggested the Survey include definitions of important
terms, such as affiliate, consumer, customer, personally identifiable
transaction or experience information, and purposes related to
employment or hiring, because some of these are terms of art with which
Survey respondents will be unfamiliar.
    In many cases where commenters specified the need for specific
definitions or instructions, the Agencies have incorporated such
suggestions. Additional space will be provided on the Survey instrument
for supplemental responses, such as information on varying practices by
affiliate or state.
    A commenter noted that questions do not specify the time frame to
be used for completing the Survey, and asked if the Agencies intend to
capture a snapshot. The instructions will be specific and direct
respondents to provide information on their current information sharing
practices with affiliates.
    Some commenters suggested collecting additional information, such
as information to determine whether the perceived risks of information
sharing (for example, increased level of identity theft) in fact exist.
Commenters noted

[[Page 69731]]

that the Survey should focus on the underlying purpose for affiliate
sharing practices. One commenter suggested the primary purpose for
which companies share information with affiliates is to provide
benefits to consumers, including providing them with an array of
products and services at as low a cost as possible. In general, the
Agencies will limit the Survey to the information that section 214(e)
of the FACT Act requires to be included in the Report. For that reason,
the Agencies do not plan to collect other information, such as data
regarding the benefits, or perceived risks of information sharing with
affiliates.

Confidential and Voluntary Status

    Commenters indicated that the Agencies should guarantee
confidential treatment to respondents, in all cases and not merely
provide it on a case-by-case basis, in order to encourage voluntary and
informative responses. In addition, some commenters noted that certain
requested survey information is proprietary (e.g., the percentage of
customers that opt out and the use of shared information for
underwriting) and thus should receive confidential treatment. Finally,
while commenters commended the financial regulatory agencies for
conducting a voluntary survey, they asked that the FTC also conduct a
voluntary survey instead of using its compulsory authority to gather
information.
    In cases where questions of confidentiality arise, as mentioned in
the initial notice, the Agencies will grant confidential treatment on a
case-by-case basis under applicable Federal law. Responses to survey
questions that institutions are already required to publicly disclose
would not be protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information
Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 (FOIA). However, it is possible that some information
collected on this Survey may be exempt from disclosure. To the extent
an institution can establish the potential for substantial competitive
harm, those responses would be protected by FOIA Exemption 4, 5 U.S.C.
552(b)(4) (exempting from disclosure ``trade secrets and commercial or
financial information obtained from a person and privileged and
confidential''). Further, section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f),
bars the Commission from publicly disclosing trade secrets or
confidential commercial or financial information it receives from
persons pursuant to, among other methods, special orders authorized by
section 6(b) of the FTC Act.
    In the event of a FOIA request for information, an Agency may claim
Exemption 4 or other protections to the extent legally permissible as a
basis for withholding the information. OTS will follow Treasury
Department Rule, which is 31 CFR 1.6 contained in the Department's rule
on Disclosure of Records. If the Commission has determined that the
information does not constitute trade secrets or confidential
commercial or financial information under FTC Act section 6(f), a
respondent who designates a submission as confidential is entitled to
10 days' advance notice of any anticipated public disclosure by the
Commission under section 21(c) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57b-2(c). The
FTC Act and the Commission's rules authorize disclosure of nonpublic
material in limited circumstances (e.g., official requests by Congress,
requests from other agencies for law enforcement purposes, or
administrative or judicial proceedings). Even in those limited
contexts, however, the Commission's rules may afford protections to the
submitter, such as advance notice to seek a protective order in
litigation. See 15 U.S.C. 57b-2; 16 CFR 4.9-4.11.
    In the case of surveys administered by the financial regulatory
agencies, the Agencies believe the ongoing supervisory relationships
that these agencies have with supervised institutions will help to
facilitate a high level of voluntary responses. In contrast, the FTC
does not have the same type of supervisory relationships with its
regulated entities; therefore, the FTC may elect to use compulsory
authority to obtain information that will be necessary for preparation
of the Report should its entities choose not to participate
voluntarily.

Burden Estimates

    Commenters indicated that a respondent would likely need
significantly more time than 10 hours to collect and organize
information to produce responses, in part due to items in the Board's
draft Survey that they believed were unclear. Commenters expressed
concern that the time necessary to respond to the Survey would exceed
the Agencies' estimates if the answers to the Survey were to be based
on an organization's historical information sharing practices or the
information sharing practices for multiple entities and/or multiple
lines of business that exist throughout a complex organization.
    The Agencies believe that the final Survey instructions, with
expanded definitions and a clarification that respondents should report
only on current, not historical, practices will focus the responses
such that the burden estimate of 10 hours per institution is
reasonable.

Pre-Survey Testing

    Commenters recommended that the Agencies consult institutions for
their suggestions on re-crafting the questions to capture a more
meaningful representation of affiliate sharing practices and to reduce
burden on respondents. In response to these comments, the Board, on
behalf of the other agencies, conducted testing (through telephone
interviews) with three financial institutions. In general, the test
institutions indicated that the draft Survey would not cause undue
burden on respondents. In addition, the test institutions provided
feedback on the format, instructions, and content of the Survey. As a
result, the Agencies have modified the final Survey instrument and
instructions.

Request for Comment

    Comments on the foregoing, including comments regarding the
necessity and practical utility of the proposed collection of
information, the accuracy of the Agencies' estimates, and ways to
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information sought may
be directed to the agencies as set out below.

    OCC: Communications Division, Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, Public Information Room, Mailstop 1-5, Attention: 1557-NEW,
250 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. In addition, comments may be
sent by fax to (202) 874-4448, or by electronic mail to
regs.comments@occ.treas.gov
. You may personally inspect and photocopy
comments at the OCC's Public Information Room, 250 E Street, SW.,
Washington, DC. For security reasons, the OCC requires that visitors
make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202)
874-5043. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid
government-issued photo identification and submit to security screening
in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    FDIC: Written comments should identify ``Survey of Information
Sharing Practices with Affiliates,'' as the subject and be submitted by
any of the following methods:
     Agency Web site: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/propose.html
.     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: Comments@FDIC.gov.
     Mail: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Attention:
Comments, FDIC,

[[Page 69732]]

550 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20429.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard station at the rear of the
550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between
7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
    Comments may be inspected and photocopied in the FDIC Public
Information Center, Room E-1002, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington,
VA 22226, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on business days.

    OTS: You may submit comments, identified by ``Survey of Information
Sharing Practices with Affiliates (1550-NEW),'' by any of the following
methods:
     E-mail: infocollection.comments@ots.treas.gov. Please
include ``Survey of Information Sharing Practices with Affiliates
(1550-NEW)'' in the subject line of the message and include your name
and telephone number in the message.
     Fax: (202) 906-6518.
     Mail: Information Collection Comments, Chief Counsel's
Office, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington,
DC 20552, Attention: ``Survey of Information Sharing Practices with
Affiliates (1550-NEW).''
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard's Desk, East Lobby Entrance,
1700 G Street, NW., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on business days, Attention:
Information Collection Comments, Chief Counsel's Office, ``Survey of
Information Sharing Practices with Affiliates (1550-NEW).''
    Instructions: All comments received will be posted without change
to http://www.ots.treas.gov/pagehtml.cfm?catNumber=67&an=1, including
any personal information provided. Docket: For access to the docket to
read comments received, go to http://www.ots.treas.gov/pagehtml.cfm?catNumber=67&an=1.
 In addition, you may inspect comments
at the Public Reading Room, 1700 G Street, NW., by appointment. To make
an appointment for access, call (202) 906-5922, send an e-mail to
public.info@ots.treas.gov
, or send a facsimile transmission to (202)
906-7755. (Prior notice identifying the materials you will be
requesting will assist us in serving you.) We schedule appointments on
business days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In most cases, appointments
will be available the next business day following the date we receive a
request.

    NCUA: You may submit comments by any of the following methods
(please send comments by one method only):
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     NCUA Web Site: http://www.ncua.gov/RegulationsOpinionsLaws/proposedregs/proposedregs.html.
 Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: Address to regcomments@ncua.gov. Include ``[Your
name] Comments on FACT Act 214(e) Study,'' in the e-mail subject line.
     Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above
for e-mail.
     Mail: Address to Neil McNamara, Deputy Chief Information
Officer, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

    FTC: Comments should refer to ``Affiliate Sharing Study: FTC File
No. P064802'' and may be submitted by any of the following methods.
However, if a given comment contains any material for which
confidential treatment is requested, it must be filed in paper form,
and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled
``Confidential.''\3\ A copy of each comment should additionally be
submitted via facsimile to (202) 395-6974 and addressed to: Office of
Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Trade
Commission.
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    \3\ Commission Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be
accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment,
including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must
identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from
the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the
Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the
public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
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     E-mail: Comments filed in electronic form should be
submitted as part of or as an attachment to e-mail messages directed to
the following e-mail box: <affiliatestudy@ftc.gov. To ensure
that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must send it
to the above e-mail box.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: If this notice appears at
http://www.regulations.gov, you may also file an electronic comment
through that Web site. The Commission will consider all comments that
regulations.gov forwards to it.
     Mail or Hand Delivery: A comment filed in paper form
should include ``Affiliate Sharing Study: FTC File No. P064802'' both
in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered,
with two complete copies, to the following address: Federal Trade
Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex J), 600
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Because paper mail in
the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay, please
consider submitting your comments in electronic form, as prescribed
above. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be
sent by courier or overnight service, if possible.
    The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the
collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as
appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed
in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and
will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent
practicable, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.htm. As a matter
of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact
information for individuals from the public comments it receives before
placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including
routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's
privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Additionally, you should send a copy of your comments to [Agency]
Desk Officer, [OMB No.], by mail to U.S. Office of Management and
Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or
by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be shared among
the Agencies. All comments will become a matter of public record.
Written comments should address the accuracy of the burden estimates
and ways to minimize burden including the use of automated collection
techniques or the use of other forms of information technology as well
as other relevant aspects of the information collection request.

    Dated: November 26, 2007.
Stuart Feldstein,
Assistant Director, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division,
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 4, 2007.
Jennifer J. Johnson,
Secretary of the Board.

   Dated at Washington, DC, this 27th day of November, 2007.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Robert E. Feldman,
Executive Secretary.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 29th day of November, 2007.
Deborah Dakin,
Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 28th day of November, 2007.

[[Page 69733]]

    By the National Credit Union Administration on November 28, 2007.
Mary F. Rupp,
Secretary of the Board.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this twenty-eighth day of November, 2007.
Federal Trade Commission.
    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.

 [FR Doc. 07-5998 Filed 12-7-07; 8:45 am]


    

Last Updated 12/10/2007 Regs@fdic.gov