A Bank acknowledges that it has a general duty of confidentiality towards a Customer except in the following circumstances:
- where disclosure is compelled by law.
- where there is a duty to the public to disclose.
- where the interests of the Bank require disclosure; or where disclosure is made with the express or implied consent of the Customer.
- A Bank shall not collect information relating to Customers by unlawful means.
- A Bank shall, on request, provide a Customer with information about that Customer which is readily accessible to the Bank and which may lawfully be provided. The information required to be provided is limited to the Bank’s record of the Customer’s address, occupation, marital status, age, sex, Accounts with the Bank and balances and statements relating to those Accounts (“the code of Banking Practice”).
- A Bank need not comply with a request unless the Customer has, as clearly as possible, identified the Customer information requested and its likely location (if known to the Customer).
- A Bank may recover its reasonable costs of supplying Customer information to a Customer.
- A Customer of a Bank may request the correction of Customer information about the Customer held by the Bank.
- A request for access to Customer information, or a request for the correction of Customer information, shall be addressed within a reasonable time.
- A Bank may not collect, use or disseminate information about a Customer’s: (i) political, social or religious beliefs or (ii) race, ethnic origins or national origins; or (iii) sexual preferences or practices; except that it may collect or use such information in accordance with this Code for a proper commercial purpose.
- A Bank shall take reasonable steps to protect personal information held by it relating to a Customer against loss and against access, use, modification or disclosure that is unauthorised. A Bank shall require all staff with access to personal information concerning Customers to maintain confidentiality concerning that information.
- “Customer” includes an individual who would have been a Customer if this Code of Banking Practice had applied at the time that individual acquired a financial service.
A Bank shall have an internal process for handling a dispute between the Bank and a Customer and this process will be readily accessible by Customers without charge upon them by the Bank. A dispute arises where a Customer has a complaint and completes the Bank’s formal complaint form and delivers it to the Bank. A Bank shall agree, if the Customer wishes to submit to the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Ombudsman provided the Bank’s internal process has been exhausted.
- Where a request for resolution of the dispute is made, the Bank shall inform the Customer in writing of the outcome within a maximum of two months from the receipt of the complaint form. If the dispute is not resolved in a manner acceptable to the Customer, the reasons for the outcome shall be given.
- The Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman has been established by the Central Bank in conjunction with the commercial banks to handle complaints from individuals and small businesses in respect of products and services provided by the commercial banks and their licensed subsidiaries. The process shall apply the law and this Code and also may take into account what is fair to both Customer and the Bank.
- If the customer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Bank’s internal process for resolution, the customer may take his/her compliant to the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman. The aim of this Office is to render impartial and prompt resolution to complaints. It is not a court of law and the parties do not, at any time, surrender their legal rights and are always free to seek alternative resolution, including taking the matter to court. The Office’s primary means of dispute resolution is mediation. If this is not possible, then a full investigation will begin into the matter leading to the Ombudsman’s making of a decision to settle the matter.Because it is not a legal process, the Ombudsman’s recommendations are not binding except when an award made by the Ombudsman is accepted by the customer. In this case, the award is binding on the bank.