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Consumer Sourcebook

Preface | User's Guide | Table of Contents | Print Sourcebook Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

Extra Note: Protecting Your Financial Privacy

Banks and other financial institutions now have to give you the opportunity to decide what information about you that the institutions will be allowed to share or sell to other companies that are not a part of the same "parent organization." The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 applies to all sorts of financial institutions, including banks, savings and loans, credit unions, insurance companies, and brokerage firms. It can also apply to retailers and automobile dealers that collect information about customers to whom they extend credit.

Financial institutions that extend us credit, loan us money, or sell us insurance routinely collect information about our bill-paying habits; how much we borrow, save, and buy; and where we like to shop (for a credit card issuer). And they often share this information with other businesses.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), there are several things that you should know:

How does this federal law protect my financial privacy?

You must be told by each of the financial institutions with which you do business, what kinds of information it collects and the types of business that may be provided with this information.

If a financial institution intends to share your information with anyone or entity outside the "corporate family" then it must give you the chance to "opt out" or "say no" to having your information used in this way.

Financial institutions must describe how they protect the security and confidentiality of your financial information.

What should I look for in this privacy notice?

These notices are mailed out annually.

Look for:

  • The kinds of information the institution shares with other parts of the corporation ("members of our corporate family" or "our affiliates").
  • The kinds of information shared with other institutions ("nonaffiliated third parties").
  • What information you can block from being shared.
  • How you go about "opting out" if that is what you wish to do.

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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658