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FDIC Issues Guidelines Regarding the Copying and Removal of Confidential Bank Records

The FDIC has issued guidelines regarding the removal of confidential records from bank locations by directors and officers.  Although directors and officers require access to such records to properly manage an institution, such access cannot be used to further personal interests.  These guidelines were promulgated in response to a number of instances where directors and officers have made copies of bank and supervisory records in anticipation of litigation or enforcement activities against them personally.  

The guidelines reiterate that a bank’s financial records belong exclusively to the bank, and examination reports and supervisory correspondence are the sole property of the FDIC.  In addition to confidential regulatory documents, SARs, customer personal information, and employee records are subject to confidentiality restrictions.  The guidance warns that directors and officers who impermissibly remove such documents and records may be in violation of applicable laws and regulations, fiduciary duties to the financial institution, and internal policies of the bank with respect to confidentiality and security.  In addition, the guidelines warn legal counsel against advising directors and officers to copy or remove bank records in furtherance of their personal interests.

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