Banking Secrecy  

February, 2006 -

As it is considered as of general interest, we would like to mention that on December 30, 2005, the Federal Official Gazette published an executive order amending Article 117 and Article 118 of the Financial Institutions Law. The amendments, which relate to banking secrecy and came into effect on December 31, 2005, are for the purpose of protecting the privacy of financial system users by providing that information and documents related to operations carried out by financial institutions must be considered as confidential. Financial institutions may only provide information concerning deposits, services for and operations by their customers and financial system users, or any transaction in which they are involved, to the depositor, debtor, account holder, beneficiary, trust settler, trust beneficiary, principal in an agency relationship, legal representatives, or those having a power of attorney over the account or with respect to the operation or service in question. Financial institutions are also obligated to provide the material mentioned above upon court order at the request the National Banking and Securities Commission or the financial institution in question. The amendment sets out the government agencies authorized to request this type of information. The request for information must be directed to the financial institution, directly, or to the Commission and must set out the name of the institution, the name of the user, account number, and other information necessary to clearly identify the operation that is the subject of investigation. The agencies requesting the information may only use it for those cases stipulated in the amendments and information must be kept confidential. Civil servants, including those who leave the government, who improperly reveal or provide copies of information or documents are subject to administrative, criminal, and civil penalties. The foregoing amendments do not alter the obligations of financial institutions to provide the Commission and other financial system authorities with information and documents required under their supervisory and auditing powers. Article 118 was repealed. This article had set out the liability incurred by financial institutions upon improperly revealing information about, and the operations of, users of the financial system, including civil and criminal liability. If you would like further information about this matter, please contact the lawyers of the area, Javier Becerra [email protected], Daniel del Río [email protected] y Juan José López de Silanes [email protected]



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