12 USC 3403: Confidentiality of Financial Records
About This Project
This project uses data compiled by the Sunshine in Government initiative, a coalition of journalism and transparency groups. SGI compiled data from federal agency annual FOIA reports to track how often b(3) exemptions were used. SGI also standardized the exemptions since some agencies used slightly different citations of the same laws. In some cases, agencies listed general laws without specifying a section under which information was withheld. This project does not include information from agencies that use no b(3) exemptions in 2008 or 2009. ProPublica compiled information about FOIA denials.
TITLE 12--BANKS AND BANKING CHAPTER 35--RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY
Sec. 3403. Confidentiality of financial records (a) Release of records by financial institutions prohibited 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 chapter. (b) Release of records upon certification of compliance with chapter 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 chapter. (c) Notification to Government authority of existence of relevant information in records Nothing in this chapter 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) Release of records as incident to perfection of security interest, proving a claim in bankruptcy, collecting a debt, or processing an application with regard to a Government loan, loan guarantee, etc. (1) Nothing in this chapter 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 chapter 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. (Pub. L. 95-630, title XI, Sec. 1103, Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3698; Pub. L. 99-570, title I, Sec. 1353(a), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207-21; Pub. L. 100-690, title VI, Sec. 6186(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4357.) Amendments 1988--Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100-690 inserted ``, corporation,'' after ``individual''. 1986--Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99-570 inserted provisions that the disclosure of only the name or other identifying information concerning any individual or account involved in and the nature of any suspected illegal activity is permitted notwithstanding any constitution, law, or regulation of any State or political subdivision thereof to the contrary, and any financial institutions, officers, agents, or employees thereof making such disclosure shall not be liable to the customer under any State constitution or any Federal, State, or local law or regulation for such disclosure or failure to notify the customer thereof.