Bank secrecy: what is it – Dictionary of Economics

Bank Secrecy Definition

Bank secrecy is a specific case of professional secrecy, that is, non-disclosure of information to which third parties have had access in the exercise of a certain profession.

In the case of the banking field, when referring to secrecy, what is intended to be pointed out is the impossibility of providing other people outside the relationship with data on customers of the Credit Institutions (account numbers, balances, etc.).

Banking secrecy is not specifically regulated in a single rule, but its validity derives or is deduced from various sources:

– The duty of diligence required of any person in the exercise of their functions; In this sense, a lack of diligence that caused damage to one of the parties to a banking relationship could imply a contractual liability for the other.

For example: Think of an employee of a Bank or Savings Bank who commented to third parties on the insolvency of one of their clients or their overdraft balances. If this were known by the client affected by such a lack of diligence, he could demand some responsibility from the Entity by way of article 1,101 of the Civil Code (which literally indicates that “they are subject to compensation for the damages caused by the who in the fulfillment of their obligations incur in fraud, negligence or delay, and those who in any way contravene the tenor of those”).

– The very right to honour, privacy and image, which guarantee a scope of confidentiality that can be extrapolated to professional relationships, preventing data related to them from being disclosed (especially if they affect honor because they are “negative “; think again of the example cited in number 1 above).

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Among the different articles of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 that include this right, articles 18.1 and 20.4 stand out.

– Article 24.2, second paragraph of the Constitution, the exact wording of which is as follows, is a clear example of the importance that the Law itself grants to professional secrecy, within which, as has been pointed out, banking secrecy is included: “The Law It will regulate the cases in which, due to kinship or professional secrecy, there will be no obligation to testify about allegedly criminal acts.”

– All the regulations for the protection of personal data that have been developed enormously in Spain have contributed to further outline the need to keep banking data secret (because these are personal data, since the Law itself defines as such “any information concerning identified or identifiable natural persons”).

Therefore, Organic Law 15/1999, of December 13, on the Protection of Personal Data and its development Regulations (Royal Decree 1720/2007, of December 21, approving the Regulation of development of Organic Law 15/1999, of December 13, on the protection of personal data).

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