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6000 - Consumer Protection


FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS REGULATORY AND
INTEREST RATE CONTROL ACT OF 1978

TITLE XI—RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY

SEC. 1100.  This title may be cited as the "Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978".

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3401 note]

[Source:  Section 1100 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3697), effective March 10, 1979]

DEFINITIONS

SEC. 1101.  For the purpose of this title, the term--

(1)  "financial institution", except as provided in section 1114, means any office of a bank, savings bank, card issuer as defined in section 103 of the Consumers Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1602(n)), industrial loan company, trust company, savings association, building and loan, or homestead association (including cooperative banks), credit union, or consumer finance institution, located in any State or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, or the Virgin Islands;

(2)  "financial record" means an original of, a copy of, or information known to have been derived from, any record held by a financial institution pertaining to a customer's relationship with the financial institution;

(3)  "Government authority" means any agency or department of the United States, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof;

(4)  "person" means an individual or a partnership of five or fewer individuals;

(5)  "customer" means any person or authorized representative of that person who utilized or is utilizing any service of a financial institution, or for whom a financial institution is acting or has acted as a fiduciary, in relation to an account mantained in the person's name;

(6)  "holding company" means--

(A)  any bank holding company (as defined in section 2 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956); and

(B)  any company described in section 4(f)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956;

(7)  "supervisory agency" means with respect to any particular financial institution, holding company, or any subsidiary of a financial institution or holding company, any of the following which has statutory authority to examine the financial condition, business operations, or records or transactions of that institution, holding company, or subsidiary--

(A)  the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

(B)  the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection;

(C)  the National Credit Union Administration;

(D)  the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;

(E)  the Comptroller of the Currency;

(F)  the Securities and Exchange Commission;

(G)  the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

(H)  the Secretary of the Treasury, with respect to the Bank Secrecy Act and the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act (Public Law 91--508, title I and II); or

(I)  any State banking or securities department or agency; and

(8)  "law enforcement inquiry" means a lawful investigation or official proceeding inquiring into a violation of, or failure to comply with, any criminal or civil statute or any regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3401]


[Source:  Section 1101 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3697), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by sections 744(b) of title VII and 941 of title IX of the Act of August 9, 1989 (Pub. L. No. 101--73; 103 Stat. 438 and 496, respectively), effective August 9, 1989; section 2596(c) of title XXV of the Act of November 29, 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101--647; 104 Stat. 4908), effective November 29, 1990; section 727(b)(1) of title VII of the Act of November 12, 1999 (Pub. L. No. 106-102; 113 Stat. 1475), effective November 12, 1999; section 374(b) of title II of the Act of December 13, 2003 (Pub. L. No. 108--177; 117 Stat. 2628), effective December 13, 2003; section 1099(1) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2105), effective July 21, 2010]

ACCESS TO FINANCIAL RECORDS BY GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES PROHIBITED; EXCEPTIONS

SEC. 1102.  Except as provided by section 1103(c) or (d), 1113, or 1114, no Government authority may have access to or obtain copies of, or the information contained in the financial records of any customer from a financial institution unless the financial records are reasonably described and--

(1)  such customer has authorized such disclosure in accordance with section 1104;

(2)  such financial records are disclosed in response to an administrative subpena or summons which meets the requirements of section 1105;

(3)  such financial records are disclosed in response to a search warrant which meets the requirements of section 1106;

(4)  such financial records are disclosed in response to a judicial subpena which meets the requirements of section 1107; or

(5)  such financial records are disclosed in response to a formal written request which meets the requirements of section 1108.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3402]

[Source:  Section 1102 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3697), effective March 10, 1979]

CONFIDENTIALITY OF FINANCIAL RECORDS

SEC. 1103.  (a)  No financial institution, or officer, employees, or agent of a financial institution, may provide to any Government authority access to or copies of, or the information contained in, the financial records of any customer except in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(b)  A financial institution shall not release the financial records of a customer until the Government authority seeking such records certifies in writing to the financial institution that it has complied with the applicable provisions of this title.

(c)  Nothing in this title shall preclude any financial institution, or any officer, employee, or agent of a financial institution, from notifying a Government authority that such institution, or officer, employee, or agent has information which may be relevant to a possible violation of any statute or regulation. Such information may include only the name or other identifying information concerning any individual, corporation, or account involved in and the nature of any suspected illegal activity. Such information may be disclosed notwithstanding any constitution, law, or regulation of any State or political subdivision thereof to the contrary. Any financial institution, or officer, employee, or agent thereof, making a disclosure of information pursuant to this subsection, shall not be liable to the customer under any law or regulation of the United States or any constitution, law, or regulation of any State or political subdivision thereof, for such disclosure or for any failure to notify the customer of such disclosure.

(d)(1)  Nothing in this title shall preclude a financial institution, as an incident to perfecting a security interest, proving a claim in bankruptcy, or otherwise collecting on a debt owing either to the financial institution itself or in its role as a fiduciary, from providing copies of any financial record to any court or Government authority.

(2)  Nothing in this title shall preclude a financial institution, as an incident to processing an application for assistance to a customer in the form of a Government loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement, or as an incident to processing a default on, or administering, a Government guaranteed or insured loan, from initiating contact with an appropriate Government authority for the purpose of providing any financial record necessary to permit such authority to carry out its responsibilities under a loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3403]

[Source:  Section 1103 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3698), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 1353(a) of subtitle H of title I of the Act of October 27, 1986 (Pub. L. No. 99--570; 100 Stat. 3207--21), effective October 27, 1986; and section 6186(a) of title VI of the Act of November 18, 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100--690; 102 Stat. 4357), effective November 18, 1988]

CUSTOMER AUTHORIZATIONS

SEC. 1104.  (a)  A customer may authorize disclosure under section 1102(1) if he furnishes to the financial institution and to the Government authority seeking to obtain such disclosure a signed and dated statement which--

(1)  authorizes such disclosure for a period not in excess of three months;

(2)  states that the customer may revoke such authorization at any time before the financial records are disclosed;

(3)  identifies the financial records which are authorized to be disclosed;

(4)  specifies the purposes for which, and the Government authority to which, such records may be disclosed; and

(5)  states the customer's rights under this title.

(b)  No such authorization shall be required as a condition of doing business with any financial institution.

(c)  The customer has the right, unless the Government authority obtains a court order as provided in section 1109, to obtain a copy of the record which the financial institution shall keep of all instances in which the customer's record is disclosed to a Government authority pursuant to this section, including the identity of the Government authority to which such disclosure is made.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3404]

[Source:  Section 1104 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3698), effective March 10, 1979; section 1104(d) repealed by the Act of March 7, 1979 (Pub. L. No. 96-3; 93 Stat. 5)]

ADMINISTRATIVE SUBPENA AND SUMMONS

SEC. 1105.  A Government authority may obtain financial records under section 1102(2) pursuant to an administrative subpena or summons otherwise authorized by law only if--

(1)  there is reason to believe that the records sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry;

(2)  a copy of the subpena or summons has been served upon the customer or mailed to his last known address on or before the date on which the subpena or summons was served on the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:

"Records or information concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached subpena or summons are being sought by this (agency or department) in accordance with the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 for the following purpose: If you desire that such records or information not be made available, you must:

"1.  Fill out the accompanying motion paper and sworn statement or write one of your own, stating that you are the customer whose records are being requested by the Government and either giving the reasons you believe that the records are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated in this notice or any other legal basis for objecting to the release of the records.

"2.  File the motion and statement by mailing or delivering them to the clerk of any one of the following United States district courts:

"3.  Serve the Government authority requesting the records by mailing or delivering a copy of your motion and statement to

"4.  Be prepared to come to court and present your position in further detail.

"5.  You do not need to have a lawyer, although you may wish to employ one to represent you and protect your rights. If you do not follow the above procedures, upon the expiration of ten days from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of this notice, the records or information requested therein will be made available. These records may be transferred to other Government authorities for legitimate law enforcement inquiries, in which event you will be notified after the transfer." ; and

(3)  ten days have expired from the date of service of the notice or fourteen days have expired from the date of mailing the notice to the customer and within such time period the customer has not filed a sworn statement and motion to quash in an appropriate court, or the customer challenge provisions of section 1110 have been complied with.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3405]

[Source:  Section 1105 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3699), effective March 10, 1979]

SEARCH WARRANTS

SEC. 1106.  (a)  A Government authority may obtain financial records under section 1102(3) only if it obtains a search warrant pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  No later than ninety days after the Government authority serves the search warrant, it shall mail to the customer's last known address a copy of the search warrant together with the following notice:

"Records or information concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached search warrant were obtained by this (agency or department) on (date) for the following purpose:    You may have rights under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978."

(c)  Upon application of the Government authority, a court may grant a delay in the mailing of the notice required in subsection (b), which delay shall not exceed one hundred and eighty days following the service of the warrant, if the court makes the findings required in section 1109(a). If the court so finds, it shall enter an ex parte order granting the requested delay and an order prohibiting the financial institution from disclosing that records have been obtained or that a search warrant for such records has been executed. Additional delays of up to ninety days may be granted by the court upon application, but only in accordance with this subsection. Upon expiration of the period of delay of notification of the customer, the following notice shall be mailed to the customer along with a copy of the search warrant:

"Records or information concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached search warrant were obtained by this (agency or department) on (date). Notification was delayed beyond the statutory ninety-day delay period pursuant to a determination by the court that such notice would seriously jeopardize an investigation concerning    You may have rights under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978."

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3406]

[Source:  Section 1106 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3700), effective March 10, 1979]

JUDICIAL SUBPENA

SEC. 1107.  A Government authority may obtain financial records under section 1102(4) pursuant to judicial subpena only if--

(1)  such subpena is authorized by law and there is reason to believe that the records sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry;

(2)  a copy of the subpena has been served upon the customer or mailed to his last known address on or before the date on which the subpena was served on the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:

"Records or information concerning your transactions which are held by the financial institution named in the attached subpena are being sought by this (agency or department or authority) in accordance with the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 for the following purpose: If you desire that such records or information not be made available, you must:

"1.  Fill out the accompanying motion paper and sworn statement or write one of your own, stating that you are the customer whose records are being requested by the Government and either giving the reasons you believe that the records are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated in this notice or any other legal basis for objecting to the release of the records.

"2.  File the motion and statement by mailing or delivering them to the clerk of the Court.

"3.  Serve the Government authority requesting the records by mailing or delivering a copy of your motion and statement to

"4.  Be prepared to come to court and present your position in further detail.

"5.  You do not need to have a lawyer, although you may wish to employ one to represent you and protect your rights. If you do not follow the above procedures, upon the expiration of ten days from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of this notice, the records or information requested therein will be made available. These records may be transferred to other government authorities for legitimate law enforcement inquiries, in which event you will be notified after the transfer;" and

(3)  ten days have expired from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of the notice to the customer and within such time period the customer has not filed a sworn statement and motion to quash in an appropriate court, or the customer challenge provisions of section 1110 have been complied with.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3407]

[Source:  Section 1107 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3700), effective March 10, 1979]

FORMAL WRITTEN REQUEST

SEC. 1108.  A Government authority may request financial records under section 1102(5) pursuant to a formal written request only if--

(1)  no administrative summons or subpena authority reasonably appears to be available to that Government authority to obtain financial records for the purpose for which such records are sought;

(2)  the request is authorized by regulations promulgated by the head of the agency or department;

(3)  there is reason to believe that the records sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry; and

(4)(A)  a copy of the request has been served upon the customer or mailed to his last known address on or before the date on which the request was made to the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:

"Records or information concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached request are being sought by this (agency or department) in accordance with the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 for the following purpose:

"If you desire that such records or information not be made available, you must:

"1.  Fill out the accompanying motion paper and sworn statement or write one of your own, stating that you are the customer whose records are being requested by the Government and either giving the reasons you believe that the records are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated in this notice or any other legal basis for objecting to the release of the records.

"2.  File the motion and statement by mailing or delivering them to the clerk of any one of the following United States District Courts:

"3.  Serve the Government authority requesting the records by mailing or delivering a copy of your motion and statement to .

"4.  Be prepared to come to court and present your position in further detail.

"5.  You do not need to have a lawyer, although you may wish to employ one to represent you and protect your rights.

If you do not follow the above procedures, upon the expiration of ten days from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of this notice, the records or information requested therein may be made available. These records may be transferred to other Government authorities for legitimate law enforcement inquiries, in which event you will be notified after the transfer;" and

(B)  ten days have expired from the date of service or fourteen days from the date of mailing of the notice by the customer and within such time period the customer has not filed a sworn statement and an application to enjoin the Government authority in an appropriate court, or the customer challenge provisions of section 1110 have been complied with.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3408]

[Source:  Section 1108 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3701), effective March 10, 1979]

DELAYED NOTICE

SEC. 1109.  (a)  Upon application of the Government authority, the customer notice required under section 1104(c), 1105(2), 1106(c), 1107(2), 1108(4), or 1112(b) may be delayed by order of an appropriate court if the presiding judge or magistrate finds that--

(1)  the investigation being conducted is within the lawful jurisdiction of the Government authority seeking the financial records;

(2)  there is reason to believe that the records being sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry; and

(3)  there is reason to believe that such notice will result in--

(A)  endangering life or physical safety of any person;

(B)  flight from prosecution;

(C)  destruction of or tampering with evidence;

(D)  intimidation of potential witnesses; or

(E)  otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or official proceeding or unduly delaying a trial or ongoing official proceeding to the same extent as the circumstances in the preceding subparagraphs.

An application for delay must be made with reasonable specificity.

(b)(1)  If the court makes the findings required in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a), it shall enter an ex parte order granting the requested delay for a period not to exceed ninety days and an order prohibiting the financial institution from disclosing that records have been obtained or that a request for records has been made, except that, if the records have been sought by a Government authority exercising financial controls over foreign accounts in the United States under section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 5(b)), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (title II, Public Law 95-223), or section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act (22 U.S.C. 287c), and the court finds that there is reason to believe that such notice may endanger the lives or physical safety of a customer or group of customers, or any person or group of persons associated with a customer, the court may specify that the delay be indefinite.

(2)  Extensions of the delay of notice provided in paragraph (1) of up to ninety days each may be granted by the court upon application, but only in accordance with this subsection.

(3)  Upon expiration of the period of delay of notification under paragraph (1) or (2), the customer shall be served with or mailed a copy of the process or request together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:

"Records or information concerning your transactions which are held by the financial institution named in the attached process or request were supplied to or requested by the Government authority named in the process or request on (date). Notification was withheld pursuant to a determination by the (title of court so ordering) under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 that such notice might (state reason).    The purpose of the investigation or official proceeding was [    ]."

(c)  When access to financial records is obtained pursuant to section 1114(b) (emergency access), the Government authority shall, unless a court has authorized delay of notice pursuant to subsections (a) and (b), as soon as practicable after such records are obtained serve upon the customer, or mail by registered or certified mail to his last known address, a copy of the request to the financial institution together with the following notice which shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the law enforcement inquiry:

"Records concerning your transactions held by the financial institution named in the attached request were obtained by (agency or department) under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 on (date) for the following purpose: Emergency access to such records was obtained on the grounds that (state grounds)."

(d)  Any memorandum, affidavit, or other paper filed in connection with a request for delay in notification shall be preserved by the court. Upon petition by the customer to whom such records pertain, the court may order disclosure of such papers to the petitioner unless the court makes the findings required in subsection (a).

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3409]

[Source:  Section 1109 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3702), effective March 10, 1979]

CUSTOMER CHALLENGES

SEC. 1110.  (a)  Within ten days of service or within fourteen days of mailing of a subpena, summons, or formal written request, a customer may file a motion to quash an administrative summons or judicial subpena, or an application to enjoin a Government authority from obtaining financial records pursuant to a formal written request, with copies served upon the Government authority. A motion to quash a judicial subpena shall be filed in the court which issued the subpena. A motion to quash an administrative summons or an application to enjoin a Government authority from obtaining records pursuant to a formal written request shall be filed in the appropriate United States district court. Such motion or application shall contain an affidavit or sworn statement--

(1)  stating that the applicant is a customer of the financial institution from which financial records pertaining to him have been sought; and

(2)  stating the applicant's reasons for believing that the financial records sought are not relevant to the legitimate law enforcement inquiry stated by the Government authority in its notice, or that there has not been substantial compliance with the provisions of this title.

Service shall be made under this section upon a Government authority by delivering or mailing by registered or certified mail a copy of the papers to the person, office, or department specified in the notice which the customer has received pursuant to this title. For the purposes of this section, "delivery" has the meaning stated in rule 5(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b)  If the court finds that the customer has complied with subsection (a), it shall order the Government authority to file a sworn response, which may be filed in camera if the Government includes in its response the reasons which make in camera review appropriate. If the court is unable to determine the motion or application on the basis of the parties' initial allegations and response, the court may conduct such additional proceedings as it deems appropriate. All such proceedings shall be completed and the motion or application decided within seven calendar days of the filing of the Government's response.

(c)  If the court finds that the applicant is not the customer to whom the financial records sought by the Government authority pertain, or that there is a demonstrable reason to believe that the law enforcement inquiry is legitimate and a reasonable belief that the records sought are relevant to that inquiry, it shall deny the motion or application, and, in the case of an administrative summons or court order other than a search warrant, order such process enforced. If the court finds that the applicant is the customer to whom the records sought by the Government authority pertain, and that there is not a demonstrable reason to believe that the law enforcement inquiry is legitimate and a reasonable belief that the records sought are relevant to that inquiry, or that there has not been substantial compliance with the provisions of this title, it shall order the process quashed or shall enjoin the Government authority's formal written request.

(d)  A court ruling denying a motion or application under this section shall not be deemed a final order and no interlocutory appeal may be taken therefrom by the customer. An appeal of a ruling denying a motion or application under this section may be taken by the customer (1) within such period of time as provided by law as part of any appeal from a final order in any legal proceeding initiated against him arising out of or based upon the financial records, or (2) within thirty days after a notification that no legal proceeding is contemplated against him. The Government authority obtaining the financial records shall promptly notify a customer when a determination has been made that no legal proceeding against him is contemplated. After one hundred and eighty days from the denial of the motion or application, if the Government authority obtaining the records has not initiated such a proceeding, a supervisory official of the Government authority shall certify to the appropriate court that no such determination has been made. The court may require that such certifications be made, at reasonable intervals thereafter, until either notification to the customer has occurred or a legal proceeding is initiated as described in clause (A).

(e)  The challenge procedures of this title constitute the sole judicial remedy available to a customer to oppose disclosure of financial records, examination reports pursuant to law.

(f)  Nothing in this title shall enlarge or restrict any rights of a financial institution to challenge requests for records made by a Government authority under existing law. Nothing in this title shall entitle a customer to assert the rights of a financial institution.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3410]

[Source:  Section 1110 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3703), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 231(b)(2) of title II of the Act of November 12, 1999 (Pub. L. No. 106--102; 113 Stat. 1407), effective May 12, 2000]

DUTY OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

SEC. 1111.  Upon receipt of a request for financial records made by a Government authority under section 1105 or 1107, the financial institution shall, unless otherwise provided by law, proceed to assemble the records requested and must be prepared to deliver the records to the Government authority upon receipt of the certificate required under section 1103(b).

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3411]

[Source:  Section 1111 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3705), effective March 10, 1979]

USE OF INFORMATION

SEC. 1112.  (a)  Financial records originally obtained pursuant to this title shall not be transferred to another agency or department unless the transferring agency or department certifies in writing that there is reason to believe that the records are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry, or intelligence or counterintelligence activity, investigation or analysis related to international terrorism after within the jurisdiction of the receiving agency or department.

(b)  When financial records subject to this title are transferred pursuant to subsection (a), the transferring agency or department shall, within fourteen days, send to the customer a copy of the certification made pursuant to subsection (a) and the following notice, which shall state the nature of the law enforcement inquiry with reasonable specificity: "Copies of, or information contained in, your financial records lawfully in possession of [    ] have been furnished to [    ] pursuant to the Right of Financial Privacy Act of 1978 for the following purpose: [    ]. If you believe that this transfer has not been made to further a legitimate law enforcement inquiry, you may have legal rights under the Financial Privacy Act of 1978 or the Privacy Act of 1974."

(c)  Notwithstanding subsection (b), notice to the customer may be delayed if the transferring agency or department has obtained a court order delaying notice pursuant to section 1109(a) and (b) and that order is still in effect, or if the receiving agency or department obtains a court order authorizing a delay in notice pursuant to section 1109(a) and (b). Upon the expiration of any such period of delay, the transferring agency or department shall serve to the customer the notice specified in subsection (b) above and the agency or department that obtained the court order authorizing a delay in notice pursuant to section 1109(a) and (b) shall serve to the customer the notice specified in section 1109(b).

(d)  Nothing in this title prohibits any supervisory agency from exchanging examination reports or other information with another supervisory agency. Nothing in this title prohibits the transfer of a customer's financial records needed by counsel for a Government authority to defend an action brought by the customer. Nothing in this title shall authorize the withholding of information by any officer or employee of a supervisory agency from a duly authorized committee or subcommittee of the Congress.

(e)  Notwithstanding section 1101(6) or any other provision of this title, the exchange of financial records or other information with respect to a financial institution, holding company, or any subsidiary of a depository institution or holding company, among and between the five member supervisory agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is permitted.

(f) TRANSFER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL.--

(1) IN GENERAL.--Nothing in this title shall apply when financial records obtained by an agency or department of the United States are disclosed or transferred to the Attorney General upon the certification by a supervisory level official of the transferring agency or department that--

(A)  there is reason to believe that the records may be relevant to a violation of Federal criminal law; and

(B)  the records were obtained in the exercise of the agency's or department's supervisory or regulatory functions.

(2)  LIMITATION ON USE.--Records so transferred shall be used only for criminal investigative or prosecutive purposes for civil actions under section 951 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, or for forfeiture under sections 981 or 982 of title 18, United States Code by the Department of Justice and shall, upon completion of the investigation or prosecution (including any appeal), be returned only to the transferring agency or department. No agency or department so transferring such records shall be deemed to have waived any privilege applicable to those records under law.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3412]

[Source:  Section 1112 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3705), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 432(a) of title IV of the Act of October 15, 1982 (Pub. L. No. 97--320; 96 Stat. 1527), effective October 15, 1982; section 6186(b) of title VI of the Act of November 18, 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100--690; 102 Stat. 4357), effective November 18, 1988; section 944 of title IX of the Act of August 9, 1989 (Pub. L. No. 101--73; 103 Stat. 498), effective August 9, 1989; section 411(l) of title IV of the Act of December 19, 1991 (Pub. L. No. 102--242; 105 Stat. 2375) effective December 19, 1991; section 727(b)(2) of title VII of the Act of November 12, 1999 (Pub. L. No. 106--102; 113 Stat. 1475), effective November 12, 1999; section 358(f)(1) of title III of the Act of October 26, 2001 (Pub. L. No. 106--57; 115 Stat. 327), effective October 26, 2001; section 10 of the Act of December 12, 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109--455; 120 Stat. 3381), effective December 10, 2006; section 1099(2) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2105), effective July 21, 2010]

EXCEPTIONS

SEC. 1113.  (a)  Nothing in this title prohibits the disclosure of any financial records or information which is not identified with or identifiable as being derived from the financial records of a particular customer.

(b)  This chapter shall not apply to the examination by or disclosure to any supervisory agency of financial records or information in the exercise of its supervisory, regulatory, or monetary functions, including conservatorship or receivership functions, with respect to any financial institution, holding company, subsidiary of a financial institution or holding company, institution-affiliated party (within the meaning of section 3(u) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) with respect to a financial institution, holding company, or subsidiary, or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs thereof.

(c)  Nothing in this title prohibits the disclosure of financial records in accordance with procedures authorized by the Internal Revenue Code.

(d)  Nothing in this title shall authorize the withholding of financial records or information required to be reported in accordance with any Federal statute or rule promulgated thereunder.

(e)  Nothing in this title shall apply when financial records are sought by a Government authority under the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure or comparable rules of other courts in connection with litigation to which the Government authority and the customer are parties.

(f)  Nothing in this title shall apply when financial records are sought by a Government authority pursuant to an administrative subpena issued by an administrative law judge in an adjudicatory proceeding subject to section 554 of title 5, United States Code, and to which the Government authority and the customer are parties.

(g)  The notice requirements of this title and section 1110 and 1112 shall not apply when a Government authority by a means described in section 1102 and for a legitimate law enforcement inquiry is seeking only the name, address, account number, and type of account of any customer or ascertainable group of customers associated (1) with a financial transaction or class of financial transactions, or (2) with a foreign country or subdivision thereof in the case of a Government authority exercising financial controls over foreign accounts in the United States under section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 5(b)); the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (title II, Public Law 95-223); or section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act (22 U.S.C. 287(c)).

(h)(1)  Nothing in this title (except sections 1103, 1117 and 1118) shall apply when financial records are sought by a Government authority--

(A)  in connection with a lawful proceeding, investigation, examination, or inspection directed at a financial institution (whether or not such proceeding, investigation, examination, or inspection is also directed at a customer) or at a legal entity which is not a customer; or

(B)  in connection with the authority's consideration or administration of assistance to the customer in the form of a Government loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance program.

(2)  When financial records are sought pursuant to this subsection, the Government authority shall submit to the financial institution the certificate required by section 1103(b). For access pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), no further certification shall be required for subsequent access by the certifying Government authority during the term of the loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement.

(3)  After the effective date of this title, whenever a customer applies for participation in a Government loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance program, the Government authority administering such program shall give the customer written notice of the authority's access rights under this subsection. No further notification shall be required for subsequent access by that authority during the term of the loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement.

(4)  Financial records obtained pursuant to this subsection may be used only for the purpose for which they were originally obtained, and may be transferred to another agency or department only when the transfer is to facilitate a lawful proceeding, investigation, examination, or inspection directed at a financial institution (whether or not such proceeding, investigation, examination, or inspection is also directed at a customer), or at a legal entity which is not a customer, except that--

(A)  nothing in this paragraph prohibits the use or transfer of a customer's financial records needed by counsel representing a Government authority in a civil action arising from a Government loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement; and

(B)  nothing in this paragraph prohibits a Government authority providing assistance to a customer in the form of a loan, loan guaranty, or loan insurance agreement from using or transferring financial records necessary to process, service or foreclose a loan, or to collect on an indebtedness to the Government resulting from a customer's default.

(5)  Notification that financial records obtained pursuant to this subsection may relate to a potential civil, criminal, or regulatory violation by a customer may be given to an agency or department with jurisdiction over that violation, and such agency or department may then seek access to the records pursuant to the provisions of this title.

(6)  Each financial institution shall keep a notation of each disclosure made pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, including the date of such disclosure and the Government authority to which it was made. The customer shall be entitled to inspect this information.

(i)  Nothing in this title (except sections 1115 and 1120) shall apply to any subpena or court order issued in connection with proceedings before a grand jury, except that a court shall have authority to order a financial institution, on which a grand jury subpoena for customer records has been served, not to notify the customer of the existence of the subpoena or information that has been furnished to the grand jury, under the circumstances and for the period specified and pursuant to the procedures established in section 1109 of the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3409).

(j)  Disclosure pursuant to proceeding, investigation, etc., instituted by Government Accountability Office and directed at a government authority

This chapter shall not apply when financial records are sought by the Government Accountability Office pursuant to an authorized proceeding, investigation, examination or audit directed at a government authority.

(k)  DISCLOSURE NECESSARY FOR PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAMS OF CERTAIN GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES.--(l)  Nothing in this title shall apply to the disclosure by the financial institution of the name and address of any customer to the Department of the Treasury, the Social Security Administration, or the Railroad Retirement Board, where the disclosure of such information is necessary to, and such information is used solely for the purpose of, the proper administration of section 1441 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, title II of the Social Security Act, or the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974.

(2)  Nothing in this title shall apply to the disclosure by the financial institution of information contained in the financial records of any customer to any Government authority that certifies, disburses, or collects payments, where the disclosure of such information is necessary to, and such information is used solely for the purpose of--

(A)  verification of the identity of any person or proper routing and delivery of funds in connection with the issuance of a Federal payment or collection of funds by a Government authority; or

(B)  the investigation or recovery of an improper Federal payment or collection of funds or an improperly negotiated Treasure check.

(3)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a request authorized by paragraph (1) or (2) (and the information contained therein) may be used by the financial institution or its agents solely for the purpose of providing information contained in the financial records of the customer to the Government authority requesting the information, and the financial institution and its agents shall be barred from redisclosure of such information. Any Government authority receiving information pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) may not disclose or use the information, except for the purposes set forth in such paragraph.

(l)  CRIMES AGAINST FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS BY INSIDERS.--Nothing in this title shall apply when any financial institution or supervisory agency provides any financial record of any officer, director, employee, or controlling shareholder (within the meaning of subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 2(a)(2) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 or subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 408(a)(2) of the National Housing Act) of such institution, or of any major borrower from such institution or of any major borrower from such institution who there is reason to believe may be acting in concert with any such officer, director, employee, or controlling shareholder, to the Attorney General of the United States, to a State law enforcement agency, or, in the case of a possible violation of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, to the Secretary of the Treasury if there is reason to believe that such record is relevant to a possible violation by such person of--

(1)  any law relating to crimes against financial institutions or supervisory agencies by directors, officers, employees, or controlling shareholders of, or by borrowers from, financial institutions; or

(2)  any provision of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code or of section 1956 or 1957 of title 18, United States Code.

No supervisory agency which transfers any such record under this subsection shall be deemed to have waived any privilege applicable to that record under law.

(m)  This title shall not apply to the examination by or disclosure to employees or agents of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any Federal Reserve bank of financial records or information in the exercise of the Federal Reserve System's authority to extend credit to the financial institutions or others.

(n)  This title shall not apply to the examination by or disclosure to the Resolution Trust Corporation or its employees or agents of financial records or information in the exercise of its conservatorship, receivership, or liquidation functions with respect to a financial institution.

(o)  This title shall not apply to the examination by or disclosure to the Federal Housing Finance Agency or any of the federal home loan banks of financial records or information in the exercise of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's authority to extend credit (either directly or through a federal home loan bank) to financial institutions or others.

(p)  ACCESS TO INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF CERTAIN VETERAN BENEFIT LAWS—

(1)  Nothing in this chapter shall apply to the disclosure by the financial institution of the name and address of any customer to the Department of Veterans Affairs where the disclosure of such information is necessary to, and such information is used solely for the purposes of, the proper administration of benefits programs under laws administered by the Secretary.

(2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any request authorized by paragraph (1) (and the information contained therein) may be used by the financial institution or its agents solely for the purpose of providing the customer's name and address to the Department of Veterans Affairs and shall be barred from redisclosure by the financial institution or its agents.

(q)  DISCLOSURE PURSUANT TO FEDERAL CONTRACTOR-ISSUED TRAVEL TRAVEL CHARGE CARD.--Nothing in this chapter shall apply to the disclosure of any financial record or information to a Government authority in conjunction with a Federal contractor-issued travel charge card issued for official Government travel.

(r)  DISCLOSURE TO THE BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION.--Nothing in this title shall apply to the examination by or disclosure to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection of financial records or information in the exercise of its authority with respect to a financial institution.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3413]

[Source:  Section 1113 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3706), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 121(c)(3)(C) of the Act of April 20, 1983 (Pub. L. No. 98--21; 97 Stat. 83), effective for benefits received after December 31, 1983, in taxable years ending after such date; section 1353 of subtitle H of title I of the Act of October 27, 1986 (Pub. L. No. 99--570; 100 Stat. 3207-22), effective October 27, 1986; section 6186 of title VI of the Act of November 18, 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100--690; 102 Stat. 4358), effective November 18, 1988; section 942 of title IX of the Act of August 9, 1989 (Pub. L. No. 101--73; 103 Stat. 497), effective August 9, 1989; section 104 of title I of the Act of November 29, 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101--647; 104 Stat. 4791), effective November 29, 1990; section 411 of title IV of the Act of December 19, 1991 (Pub. L. No. 102--242; 105 Stat. 2375) effective December 19, 1991; section 603(a) of title VI of the Act of October 29, 1992 (Pub. L. No. 102--568; 106 Stat. 4342); section 2(c)(1) of the Act of October 19, 1998 (Pub. L. No. 102--568; 112 Stat. 2351), effective October 19, 1998; section 8(b) of the Act of July 7, 2004 (Pub. L. No. 108--271; 118 Stat. 814); section 14205 of title IV of the Act of May 22, 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110--234; 122 Stat. 1459), effective October 1, 2008; section 1216a of title II of the Act of July 30, 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110--289; 122 Stat. 2792), effective July 30, 2008; section 1099(3) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2105), effective July 21, 2010]

SPECIAL PROCEDURES

SEC. 1114.  (a)(1)  Nothing in this title (except sections 1115, 1117, 1118, and 1121) shall apply to the production and disclosure of financial records pursuant to requests from--

(A)  a Government authority authorized to conduct foreign counter- or foreign positive-intelligence activities for purposes of conducting such activities;

(B)  The Secret Service for the purpose of conducting its protective functions (18 U.S.C. 3056; 18 U.S.C. 3056A, Public Law 90-331, as amended); or

(C)  A Government authority authorized to conduct investigations of, or intelligence or counterintelligence analyses related to, international terrorism for the purpose of conducting such investigations or analyses.

(2)  In the instances specified in paragraph (1), the Government authority shall submit to the financial institution the certificate required in section 1103(b) signed by a supervisory official of a rank designated by the head of the Government authority.

(3)(A)  If the Government authority described in paragraph (1) or the Secret Service, as the case may be, certifies that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person, no financial institution, or officer, employee or agent of such institution, shall disclose to any person (other than those to whom such disclosure is necessary to comply with the request or an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request) that the Government authority or the Secret Service has sought or obtained access to a customer's financial records.

(B)  The request shall notify the person or entity to whom the request is directed of the nondisclosure requirement under subparagraph (A).

(C)  Any recipient disclosing to those persons necessary to comply with the request or to an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request shall inform such persons of any applicable nondisclosure requirement. Any person who receives a disclosure under this subsection shall be subject to the same prohibitions on disclosure under subparagraph (A).

(D)  At the request of the authorized Government authority or the Secret Service, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the requesting official of the authorized Government authority or the Secret Service the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, except that nothing in this section shall require a person to inform the requesting official of the authorized Government authority or the Secret Service of the identity of an attorney to whom disclosure was made or will be made to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request for financial records under this subsection.

(4)  The Government authority specified in paragraph (1) shall compile an annual tabulation of the occasions in which this section was used.

(5)(A)  Financial institutions, and officers, employees, and agents thereof, shall comply with a request for a customer's or entity's financial records made pursuant to this subsection by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (or the Director's designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director) certifies in writing to the financial institution that such records are sought for foreign counter intelligence purposes to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(B)  The Federal Bureau of Investigation may disseminate information obtained pursuant to this paragraph only as provided in guidelines approved by the Attorney General for foreign intelligence collection and foreign counterintelligence investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and, with respect to dissemination to an agency of the United States, only if such information is clearly relevant to the authorized responsibilities of such agency.

(C)  On the dates provided in section 507 of the National Security Act of 1947, the Attorney General shall full inform the congressional intelligence committees (as defined in section 3 of that Act (50 U.S.C. 401a) concerning all requests made pursuant to this paragraph.

(D)  PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN DISCLOSURE.--

(i)  If the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or his designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director, certifies that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person, no financial institution, or officer, employee, or agency of such institution, shall disclose to any person (other than those to whom such disclosure is necessary to comply with the request or an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained access to a customer's or entity's financial records under subparagraph (A).

(ii)  The request shall notify the person or entity to whom the request is directed of the nondisclosure requirement under clause (i).

(iii)  Any recipient disclosing to those persons necessary to comply with the request or to an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request shall inform such persons of any applicable nondisclosure requirement. Any person who receives a disclosure under this subsection shall be subject to the same prohibitions on disclosure under clause (i).

(iv)  At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, except that nothing in this section shall require a person to inform the Director or such designee of the identity of an attorney to whom disclosure was made or will be made to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request for financial records under subparagraph (A).

(b)(1)  Nothing in this title shall prohibit a Government authority from obtaining financial records from a financial institution if the Government authority determines that delay in obtaining access to such records would create imminent danger of--

(A)  physical injury to any person;

(B)  serious property damage; or

(C)  flight to avoid prosecution.

(2)  In the instances specified in paragraph (1), the Government shall submit to the financial institution the certificate required in section 1103(b) signed by a supervisory official of a rank designated by the head of the Government authority.

(3)  Within five days of obtaining access to financial records under this subsection, the Government authority shall file with the appropriate court a signed, sworn statement of a supervisory official of a rank designated by the head of the Government authority setting forth the grounds for the emergency access. The Government authority shall thereafter comply with the notice provisions of section 1109(c).

(4)  The Government authority specified in paragraph (1) shall compile an annual tabulation of the occasions in which this section was used.

(d)  For purposes of this section, and sections 1115 and 1117 insofar as they relate to the operation of this section, the term "financial institution" has the same meaning as in subsections (a)(2) and (c)(1) of section 5312 of title 31, United States Code, except that, for purposes of this section, such term shall include only such a financial institution any part of which is located inside any State or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the United States Virgin Islands.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3414]

[Source:  Section 1114 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3707), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 432(b) of title IV of the Act of October 15, 1982 (Pub. L. No. 97--320; 96 Stat. 1527), effective October 15, 1982; section 404 of title IV of the Act of October 27, 1986 (Pub. L. 99--569; 100 Stat. 3197), effective October 27, 1986; section 358(f)(2) and 505(b) of title III of the Act of October 26, 2001 (Pub. L. No. 106--57; 115 Stat. 327 and 365), effective October 26, 2001; section 811(b)(9) of title VIII of the Act of November 27, 2002. (Pub. L. No. 107--306; 116 Stat. 2426), effective November 27, 2002; section 374(a) of title II of the Act of December 13, 2003 (Pub. L. No. 108--177; 117 Stat. 2628), effective December 13, 2004; sections 4(d)(1) and (2) of title VII of the Act of March 9, 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109--177; 120 Stat. 280 and 281), effective March 9, 2006; sections 116(d) and (e) of title I of the Act of March 9, 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109--177; 120 Stat. 215 and 216), effective March 9, 2006; section 605(e)(1) of title VI of the Act of March 9, 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109--177; 120 Stat. 255), effective March 9, 2006]

COST REIMBURSEMENT

SEC. 1115.  (a)  Except for records obtained pursuant to section 1103(d) or 1113(a) through (h), or as otherwise provided by law, a Government authority shall pay to the financial institution assembling or providing financial records pertaining to a customer and in accordance with procedures established by this title a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching for, reproducing, or transporting books, papers, records, or other data required or requested to be produced. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall, by regulation, establish the rates and conditions under which such payment may be made.

(b)  This section shall take effect on October 1, 1979.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3415]

[Source:  Section 1115 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3708), effective October 1, 1979]

JURISDICTION

SEC. 1116.  An action to enforce any provision of this title may be brought in any appropriate United States district court without regard to the amount in controversy within three years from the date on which the violation occurs or the date of discovery of such violation, whichever is later.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3416]

[Source:  Section 1116 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3708), effective March 10, 1979]

CIVIL PENALTIES

SEC. 1117.  (a)  Any agency or department of the United States or financial institution obtaining or disclosing financial records or information contained therein in violation of this title is liable to the customer to whom such records relate in an amount equal to the sum of--

(1)  $100 without regard to the volume of records involved;

(2)  any actual damages sustained by the customer as a result of the disclosure;

(3)  such punitive damages as the court may allow, where the violation is found to have been willful or intentional; and

(4)  in the case of any successful action to enforce liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

(b)  Whenever the court determines that any agency or department of the United States has violated any provision of this title and the court finds that the circumstances surrounding the violation raise questions of whether an officer or employee of the department or agency acted willfully or intentionally with respect to the violation, the Civil Service Commission shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against the agent or employee who was primarily responsible for the violation. The Commission after investigation and consideration of the evidence submitted, shall submit its findings and recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency concerned and shall send copies of the findings and recommendations to the officer or employee or his representative. The administrative authority shall take the corrective action that the Commission recommends.

(c)  Any financial institution or agent or employee thereof making a disclosure of financial records pursuant to this title in good-faith reliance upon a certificate by any Government authority or pursuant to the provisions of section 1113(l) shall not be liable to the customer for such disclosure under this title, the constitution of any State, or any law or regulation of any State or any political subdivision of any State.

(d)  The remedies and sanctions described in this title shall be the only authorized judicial remedies and sanctions for violations of this title.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3417]

[Source:  Section 1117 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3708), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 6186(d) of title VI of the Act of November 18, 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100--690; 102 Stat. 4358), effective November 18, 1988]

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

SEC. 1118.  In addition to any other remedy contained in this title, injunctive relief shall be available to require that the procedures of this title are complied with. In the event of any successful action, costs together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court may be recovered.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3418]

[Source:  Section 1118 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3709), effective March 10, 1979]

SUSPENSION OF LIMITATIONS

SEC. 1119.  If any individual files a motion or application under this title which has the effect of delaying the access of a Government authority to financial records pertaining to such individual, any applicable statute of limitations shall be deemed to be tolled for the period extending from the date such motion or application was filed until the date upon which the motion or application is decided.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3419]

[Source:  Section 1118 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3709), effective March 10, 1979]

GRAND JURY INFORMATION; NOTIFICATION OF CERTAIN PERSONS PROHIBITED

SEC. 1120.  (a)  Financial records about a customer obtained from a financial institution pursuant to a subpena issued under the authority of a Federal grand jury--

(1)  shall be returned and actually presented to the grand jury unless the volume of such records makes such return and actual presentation impractical in which case the grand jury shall be provided with a description of the contents of the records;

(2)  shall be used only for the purpose of considering whether to issue an indictment or presentment by that grand jury, or of prosecuting a crime for which that indictment or presentment is issued, or for a purpose authorized by rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or for a purpose authorized by section 1112(a);

(3)  shall be destroyed or returned to the financial institution if not used for one of the purposes specified in paragraph (2); and

(4)  shall not be maintained, or a description of the contents of such records shall not be maintained by any Government authority other than in the sealed records of the grand jury, unless such record has been used in the prosecution of a crime for which the grand jury issued an indictment or presentment or for a purpose authorized by rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(b)(1)  No officer, director, partner, employee, or shareholder of, or agent or attorney for, a financial institution shall, directly or indirectly, notify any person named in a grand jury subpoena served on such institution in connection with an investigation relating to a possible--

(A)  crime against any financial institution or supervisory agency; or

(B)  conspiracy to commit such a crime,

about the existence or contents of such subpoena, or information that has been furnished to the grand jury in response to such subpoena.

(2)  Section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and section 206(k)(2) of the Federal Credit Union Act shall apply to any violation of this subsection.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3420]

[Source:  Section 1120 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3709), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 6186(e) of title VI of the Act of November 18, 1988 (Pub. L. No. 100--690; 102 Stat. 4358), effective November 18, 1988; and section 943 of title IX of the Act of August 9, 1989 (Pub. L. No. 101--73; 103 Stat. 497), effective August 9, 1989; section 358(f)(3) of title III of the Act of October 26, 2001 (Pub. L. No. 106--57; 115 Stat, 327), effective October 26, 2001]

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

SEC. 1121.  [Repealed]

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3421]

[Source:  Section 1121 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3710), effective March 10, 1979; as repealed by section 3001(d) of title III of the Act of December 21, 1995 (Pub. L. No. 104--66; 109 stat. 734), effective December 21, 1995]

APPLICABILITY TO SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

SEC. 1122.  Except as provided in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this Act shall apply with respect to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 3422]

[Source:  Section 1122 of title XI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95--630; 92 Stat. 3710), effective March 10, 1979; as amended by section 2 of the Act of October 10, 1980 (Pub. L. No. 96--433; 94 Stat. 1855), effective November 10, 1980]

NOTE

Department of Justice Compliance Guidelines.  On August 7, 1979, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued the following Department of Justice compliance guidelines on the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978:

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ADVISORY

THE RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY ACT OF 1978

In view of widespread concern resulting from ambiguities and complexities of the Right To Financial Privacy Act of 1978 [12 U.S.C. § 3401 et seq.], hereafter "the RFPA" or "the Act", this advisory and the attached supporting memorandum are issued to answer several of the questions most frequently raised in connection with disclosures of financial information to federal law enforcement authorities.*

I.  Records Covered.  The RFPA protects financial records, or information known to be derived therefrom, relating only to accounts of individuals and partnerships of five or fewer partners. The RFPA does not protect records relating to accounts of corporations, partnerships of six or more partners, trusts, associations, or other legal entities.

Further, even as to financial information relating to accounts of individuals and partnerships of five or fewer partners, not all records are protected by the RFPA. More specifically, to be a protected record, an item must meet all four of the following tests:

(a)  it must be held by a specific financial institution;

(b)  it must pertain to an individual's (or covered partnership's) utilization of the services of that financial institution;

(c)  it must relate to an account maintained by that individual (or covered partnership) at that institution; and

(d)  it must relate to an account in that individual's (or partnership's) true name.

Applying the above four tests, therefore, the following items are not covered by the RFPA: forged or counterfeit financial instruments; records relating to an account established under a fictitious name; financial records in the possession of an institution other than the institution at which the person maintains an account (for example, a check or money order cashed for a non-customer); bank surveillance photographs; contents of a safe deposit box sought pursuant to search warrant; or records pertaining to functions that do not involve an account relationship (services not covered by the Act include sales of stock, performance of computer services, and other activities that do not constitute routine banking services).

II.  Reporting of Suspected Crimes.  The RFPA specifically authorizes financial institutions voluntarily to report suspected crimes to federal law enforcement authorities even though such notification will necessarily involve disclosure of financial information "derived from" protected records. In reporting that a suspected criminal violation has occurred, is occurring, or will occur, a financial institution may disclose the following information to a federal law enforcement agency:

(a)  the name(s) and address(es) of the person(s) suspected and his (their) relationship with the financial institution, if any;

(b)  the identity of the financial institution(s) or office(s) thereof involved;

(c)  the specific offense(s) suspected;

(d)  the name(s) and address(es) of the account holder(s) and the account number(s) and type(s) of account(s) in which evidence of the suspected offense(s) is located; and

(e)  a general description (dates and any suspicious circumstances) of the transaction(s) involved in the suspected offense(s).

Of course, other information not protected by the Act which will assist the law enforcement agency may be freely disclosed.

To illustrate the extent of information which may be disclosed in connection with a financial institution's notification to federal law enforcement authorities of a suspected criminal offense, the following example is provided:

Example:  The employing institution, First Financial, suspects one of its tellers, Steve Jones, of taking advantage of his position at First Financial's State Street branch office to embezzle funds from the accounts of six customers, one of which is a corporation, and of depositing the proceeds of these embezzlements in Jones' own account at the State Street office. Under the RFPA, First Financial may report the crime to federal law enforcement authorities providing all pertinent information not covered by the RFPA. In this case, such non-protected information might include records of Jones' shortages and overages as a teller, complete records relating to the corporate account which has been victimized, information from First Financial's employment records pertaining to Jones including such items as his employment application and salary level, information obtained from interviews with other employees of First Financial [if such information is not derived from financial records pertaining to Jones' personal account] which indicates that Jones is living in a style not in keeping with his income as a teller or that Jones engages in suspicious activities while performing his job as teller.

Of course, financial records relating to Jones' personal accounts are protected as are records pertaining to the five accounts of private individuals who are being victimized by Jones' embezzlement. However, even if derived from such protected records, the following information may be reported to federal law enforcement authorities:

(a)  Steve Jones' full name and address, the fact that he is employed as a teller at the State Street office, and the fact that he is suspected of embezzlement;

(b)  the fact that the suspected offenses all involve transactions occurring at First Financial, State Street office;

(c)  the fact that the offense appears to involve violations of federal criminal law, i.e., 18 U.S.C. § 656;

(d)  the names and addresses of the customers who are the suspected victims of the embezzlements, the fact that they are believed to be victims, the fact that they have accounts at the State Street office, the account numbers of the victims' and Jones' accounts, and the fact that Jones is suspected of depositing embezzled funds in his account;

(e)  the dates of the suspicious transactions involving each victim's account and Jones' account together with a description of any circumstances leading to the belief that the withdrawals and deposits in question were part of an embezzlement scheme (for example, inquiries by customer-victims as to specific unexplained debits to their accounts).

The report may also include the financial institution's analysis of the information described above together with an analysis of the significance of the suspected offense. While the general description and analysis of suspicious transactions may not be so detailed as to eliminate any need for law enforcement access to actual records, it should be sufficient to enable federal authorities (1) to reasonably describe records needed in the investigation, (2) to determine that there is reason to believe such records are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry. Once provided with sufficient information to comply with these two requirements of the RFPA, federal authorities can proceed to obtain access to records pursuant to the procedures set out by the Act.

III.  Non-Coercive Access Mechanisms.  The RFPA establishes several procedures by which federal law enforcement authorities may request access to protected financial records. These non-coercive access mechanisms include: (a) Customer-Authorized Access (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3404); (b) Formal Written Requests (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3408); (c) Requests for Account Information (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3413(g)); (d) Legal Entity Target Exception (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3413(h)); Foreign Intelligence Exception (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3414(a)); and Emergency Access (authorized by 12 U.S.C. § 3414(b)). As the statutory citations indicate, each of these access mechanisms is explicitly and unambiguously established by the RFPA and each requires the government authority seeking records to certify that it is in compliance with the RFPA. Financial institutions may, therefore, freely disclose records pursuant to these non-coercive mechanisms relying upon the government's certificate of compliance.

With respect to certificates of compliance, financial institutions are under no obligation to look behind the face of the certificate to determine whether it is defective in some respect. If there is any defect in the government's request, the responsibility is that of the government; the financial institution is protected from any possible civil liability under the RFPA by the certificate of compliance.

While these "request" mechanisms are not judicially enforceable, it appears to be the intent of the RFPA that financial institutions comply with proper requests for records. Further, with respect to the Foreign Intelligence Exception, financial institutions are expressly prohibited from notifying the customer of requests for disclosure to the government; this rule of confidentiality is absolute.

IV.  Grand Jury Subpoenas.  Federal grand jury subpoenas and court orders issued to enforce such subpoenas are specifically exempt from the RFPA. This means that the customer notice, certificate of compliance and civil liability provisions of the Act do not apply to disclosures made pursuant to federal grand jury subpoenas.

Further, the legislative history of RFPA explains why grand jury subpoenas were excepted from the customer notice and challenge provisions of the RFPA: "... grand juries are protected by rules keeping their proceedings secret. Expanded notice and challenge rights might diminish grand jury secrecy and threaten the privacy of individuals being investigated." The Supreme Court has cited five purposes served by the rule of grand jury secrecy: "(1) To prevent the escape of those whose indictment may be contemplated; (2) to insure the utmost freedom to the grand jury in its deliberations, and to prevent persons subject to indictment or their friends from importuning the grand jurors; (3) to prevent subordination of perjury or tampering with the witnessess who may testify before the grand jury ... ; (4) to encourage free and untrammeled disclosures by persons who have information with respect to crimes; (5) to protect [an] innocent accused who is exonerated from disclosure of the fact that he has been under investigation ... " ( United States v. Proctor and Gamble, 356 U.S. 677 (1958)). Because the RFPA does not contemplate customer notice in connection with grand jury subpoenas, and in view of the substantial reasons supporting the policy of grand jury secrecy, any financial institution inclined to treat a grand jury subpoena on other than a confidential basis should first discuss its plans with the government attorney responsible for the grand jury investigation involved.

V.  The Intent of Congress.  The chief sponsor of the RFPA stated during debate on the bill that the purpose of the Act was to "create a delicate balance" between law enforcement and privacy interests. For this balance to be realized, both federal law enforcement authorities and financial institutions must comply with all provisions of the Act as each provision was enacted to fulfill a particular purpose.

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 required financial institutions to preserve copies of financial records which have a "high degree of usefulness in criminal and tax investigations." The 95th Congress could have repealed the Bank Secrecy Act but instead chose to enact the RFPA regulating access to records. By seeking to balance privacy interests against law enforcement needs, and particularly by establishing the non-coercive access mechanisms and exceptions of the RFPA, the Congress recognized the continued importance of law enforcement investigations into organized crime and racketeering, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, fraud against the government and other complex criminal activities which frequently require access to financial records. Financial institutions should be aware of the background and thrust of the RFPA when acting upon government-initiated legal process for disclosure of financial records.

TITLE XXI—EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 2101.  Except as otherwise provided herein, this Act shall take effect upon the expiration of one hundred and twenty days after the date of its enactment.

[Codified to 12 U.S.C. 375b note]

[Source:  Section 2101 of title XXI of the Act of November 10, 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-630; 92 Stat. 3741), effective March 10, 1979]

* NOTE:  Disclosures to state and local law enforcement authorities are not covered by the Act. Further, in addition to the RFPA, financial institutions in states such as California, Illinois, and Maryland should be familiar with the financial privacy laws of their respective states. Go back to Text


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