The facts about bank privacy notices

FTSB sent out privacy notices this month to all account holders. Have you ever wondered what they are all about? Here are four quick facts you should know:

  1. Your information is only shared by banks when necessary to provide the products and services you request unless you allow otherwise. When your bank states they share information for their everyday business purposes, it means in some cases, banks must work with other companies to provide the products and services you want, such as mobile banking, debit cards or credit cards. Those companies may only use that information to provide that product or service. They are prohibited from using it to market to you. You can always opt-out of having your information shared with other companies, which could have an impact on the ability of the bank to provide you with a specific product or service. You can also ask your bank not to use your information to market the bank’s own products and services. If your bank wants to share your information with affiliates or non-affiliated third parties, you have the right to say no by opting out.  The great thing is you can change your mind at any time, and if an opt-out is possible, the bank will send you a reminder each year of their policy decisions.
  2. Your disclosure wording is determined by the Federal government. If you have ever been frustrated by unclear wording on the disclosures you receive, you are not alone. Banks want the wording on the disclosures to be clear – just as you do. Confusion leads to time lost for all involved. To clarify what banks will and will not do with your confidential information, the law was changed requiring all banks to use the same format. The form has a chart format for easy understanding and comparison with other financial institutions. Banks are required to word disclosures in a very specific way by Federal law. These regulations are not optional for banks, and banks take them very seriously as non-compliance has serious implications to their ability to do business with you. If your bank wants to share information outside of the normal business practice, the form will indicate they plan to share and will give you an easy method to opt-out if you do not see value in the products that may be offered.
  3. Your personal information is protected by the bank in a number of ways. Your bank cares as much about your privacy as you do. When collecting and storing your non-public personal information, banks use a combination of safeguards to protect your information, such as employee training and accountability, strict privacy policies, limited access to records, rigorous security standards, retention and destruction requirements, encryption and fraud detection.
  4. Your trust is important to your bank. Your trust is your bank’s most valuable asset. Banks protect customer privacy very carefully because their future depends on it and because it is the right thing to do. That’s why they are committed to safeguarding your confidential financial information.

Still have questions about those privacy notices? Contact us today. We would be happy to provide you with additional explanation.