Keeping Bank Secrets: Things You Can Go to Jail for Telling


Presented by: Mary Beth Guard

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Ignorance of the law is no excuse - a lesson learned the hard way through 15 months in prison by one young banker who made a concerned phone call to a large borrower after the bank received a federal grand jury subpoena for the customer's records.

In another recent case, unlawful disclosure of a SAR resulted in a criminal conviction of a former bank employee.

Don't risk these violations in your institution.

FinCEN's Director, in talking about the SAR disclosure case, said "This case demonstrates the severe consequences that come with betraying that trust, disregarding the Bank Secrecy Act, and ignoring one's duty as an employee of a financial institution." BSA is just one of the laws that shrouds certain information in secrecy. You need to have a complete view of the "do not tell" landscape.

While prosecutors in the case involving the grand jury subpoena said "Bank officials are aware that leaking knowledge of a grand jury subpoena is against the law," the fact is that not every bank employee has had training on such matters (such as pertinent provisions of the Right to Financial Privacy Act) and it is easy to imagine how a bank employee could innocently, even with the best of intentions, mention something that could violate the law.

When it comes to National Security Letters, a breach of confidentiality could even get someone killed.

When it comes to laws and regulations shrouding certain matters in confidentiality, it's a high stakes game. You cannot afford to have weaknesses in training in this area. All your personnel need to have a clear understanding of where the legal lines for confidentiality are drawn by the federal government and what the consequences are of crossing one of them.

This webinar spells it all out for you.
  • The first hour of the program is designed to be heard by every bank employee, officer and director. It will explain, in clear language, where the danger areas are and what can't be disclosed, using real-life scenarios to illustrate how slip-ups might occur. It will cover potential penalties, too.
  • The second hour is geared toward those within the institution who have responsibility for ensuring confidential information stays confidential. This part of the program will contain suggestions and practical tips for safeguarding the type of information that is legally protected against disclosure.
About the Speaker: Mary Beth Guard has been teaching financial privacy to bankers since the early 1990s and has authored more than a hundred articles on private-related subjects. In addition, she has created privacy cheat sheets and matrices used by thousands of bankers nationwide. Currently serving as Executive Editor of, Mary Beth has had a long and distinguished career, focusing on the banking industry since 1984. Previously, Mary Beth served as EVP/General Counsel and COO for the Oklahoma Bankers Association and General Counsel for the Oklahoma State Banking Department.

This program was recorded in its entirety in August 2014. The CD-ROM includes program slides, materials (if available) and follow-up Q & A document.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 05 June, 2007.

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