Who Has Access to Bank Account Information?

Banks often hold information about your identity, such as your Social Security number and driver's license information as well as how much money you deposit from your employer, how much money you have and what bills you pay and when. Financial institutions are required by federal law to keep your bank account information private.

Laws

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act prohibits what information your bank can share and with whom and allows you to opt out of having your information shared. Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, banks can only share information about you with subsidiaries of the bank such as an insurance company. It must, however, limit access to nonconfidential information such as your name and phone number.

Bank Employees

Bank employees are only permitted to access your bank account information when it is needed to service a request or perform necessary maintenance on your account. The software programs that house your bank account information are password protected to keep unauthorized employees from looking at your accounts.

Account Holders

On a bank account, only account holders or signers on the account have access to bank information. This does not include people who are beneficiaries on the account.

Personal Agents

An account holder's power of attorney may receive bank account information provided that the bank is given a copy of the power of attorney paperwork and is given time to review the document for legality. In some cases, banks will release information to a person who is named in writing by the account holder.

Law Enforcement

Banks must provide law enforcement agencies with your bank account information if the law enforcement agency has a subpoena to receive the information.

Notification

Each year and every time a new account is opened, banks are required under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to present customers with a privacy policy that outlines how their account information is used. The notice must provide information about how to opt out of having any information shared.

references