OCC Bulletin Reminds of Confidentiality Requirements

On March 25, 2019, the OCC released Bulletin 2019-15 as a reminder to supervised banks that certain nonpublic OCC information generally cannot be disclosed.  In the bulletin, the OCC explains that reports of examination and other nonpublic OCC information are the property of the OCC. Except in very limited circumstances, a bank may not disclose this information without the prior written permission of the OCC. This prohibition applies to any portion of a report of examination, supervisory correspondence, and any representations concerning the report or supervisory correspondence, or their findings, including the assigned CAMELS rating. Any unauthorized disclosure or use of nonpublic information may be subject to criminal penalties.

Bulletin 2019-15 explains that nonpublic OCC information includes the following:

  • OCC reports of examination, including CAMELS ratings.

  • Supervisory correspondence.

  • Bank responses to supervisory correspondence.

  • Investigatory files.

  • Certain enforcement-related information, including matters requiring attention (MRA).

  • Confidential bank information.

  • Other OCC records created or obtained in connection with OCC supervision, licensing, regulation, or examination that are not required to be made available under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC 552, or that the OCC has not yet published or made publicly available (see 12 CFR 4.32(b)(1)).

Any person who discloses or uses nonpublic information except as expressly permitted by the OCC or as provided by the OCC’s regulations may be subject to the criminal penalties provided in 18 USC 641. This legal prohibition on the release of nonpublic OCC information applies to all financial institutions supervised by the OCC.

The full OCC Bulletin can be found here.

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