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Financial Institution Letters


WEBLINKING

FIL-30-2003
April 23, 2003

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Chief Information Officer)
SUBJECT: Federal Bank and Credit Union Regulatory Agencies Jointly Issue Guidance on the Risks Associated With Weblinking
Summary: Federal bank and credit union regulatory agencies have issued guidance to assist financial institutions in identifying risks posed by the use of weblinks on their websites, and to suggest a variety of risk-management techniques that institutions should consider using to mitigate those risks. This guidance applies to institutions that develop and maintain their own websites, as well as institutions that use third-party service providers for this function.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision have jointly issued the attached Guidance on the Risks Associated with Weblinking. The agencies developed the guidance in response to the widespread use of weblinks on financial institutions' websites.

The objective of the guidance is to assist financial institutions in identifying risks posed by the use of weblinks on their websites and to suggest a variety of risk-management techniques that institutions should consider using to mitigate those risks. This guidance applies to institutions that develop and maintain their own websites, as well as institutions that use third-party service providers for this function.

Virtually every website contains "weblinks." A weblink is a word, phrase or image on a webpage that contains coding that will transport the viewer to a different part of the website or a completely different website by just clicking the mouse.

While weblinks are a convenient and accepted tool in website design, their use can present certain risks for financial institutions. Generally, the primary risk posed by weblinking is that viewers can become confused about whose website they are viewing and who is responsible for the information, products and services available through that website.

For more information about weblinking, please contact your FDIC Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection (DSC) Regional Office or Jeffrey M. Kopchik, Senior Policy Analyst, DSC, at (202) 898-3872.

For your reference, FDIC Financial Institution Letters may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2003/index.html.



Michael J. Zamorski
Director

Attachment: Weblinking: Identifying Risks And Risk Management Techniques

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (1-877-275-3342, option 5, or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 04/23/2003 communications@fdic.gov