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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 27, 2016

Banks warned not to use encryption tools limiting examiner access

By Andrew A. Turner, J.D.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has reminded banks that communications technology should not be used in a way that limits examiner access to records. Use of communications technology that could prevent or impede OCC access to bank records through data deletion or encryption features is inconsistent with data retention requirements (OCC 2016-13, April 27, 2016).

Noting that some chat and messaging platforms have touted an ability to “guarantee” the deletion of transmitted messages, the OCC warned against the permanent deletion of internal communications, especially if occurring within a relatively short time frame. Expectations for governance, compliance, and risk management practices require bank management to ensure that communications technology allows examiners to access bank records.

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