Financial Services Alert

OCC Approves Expanded Electronic Activities

The OCC approved expanding the permissible data processing activities of national banks to include personal and business "safekeeping" of financial and nonfinancial information. In Conditional Approval No. 479, the OCC permitted an operating subsidiary of a bank to provide a personal and business vault service allowing individuals and businesses secure web based documents storage and retrieval of documents and/or files containing personal information or valuable confidential trade or business information.

The personal information, referred to as the "personal vault," would be comparable to information that individuals could store in their physical safe deposit box: personal financial data, important business documents (both electronic and scanned "analog" files), wills, trusts, birth, wedding and death certificates, deeds of trust, and insurance policies, as well as personal "keep sake" documents such as children's drawings, report cards, and photos. The equivalent service for businesses, referred to as the "business vault," would enable businesses to store customer banking, tax and financial records, customer account and electronic information, contracts and legal documents, and other business records, as well as backup software applications.

The bank committed to complying with all OCC guidance regarding electronic services, including most specifically, the new Interagency Guidelines establishing standards for safeguarding customer information, described in the February 13, 2001 Alert.

OCC Finalizes Rule Permitting a Federal Branch or Agency of a Foreign Bank to Establish or Control an Operating Subsidiary in the Same Manner as a National Bank

The OCC finalized a rule authorizing a Federal branch or agency of a foreign bank to establish or control a US operating subsidiary in generally the same manner as a national bank may establish or control an operating subsidiary. The regulation describes application and notice procedures applicable to national banks in connection with engaging in activities through an operating subsidiary. A national bank that is well capitalized and well managed may acquire or establish an operating subsidiary, or perform a new activity in an existing operating subsidiary, by filing a notice with the OCC within 10 days of establishing or acquiring the operating subsidiary or commencing the activity (if the activity or activities are included in the broad list of...

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