Fair Credit Reporting Regulations on Communication of Consumer Information Among
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).
ACTION: Joint notice of proposed rulemaking; update.
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.
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.
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