Examination reports and information — Confidentiality — Disclosure — Penalty.
(1) All examination reports and all information obtained by the director and the director's staff in conducting examinations of banks, trust companies, or alien banks, and information obtained by the director and the director's staff from other state or federal bank regulatory authorities with whom the director has entered into agreements pursuant to *RCW 30.04.060(2), and information obtained by the director and the director's staff relating to examination and supervision of bank holding companies owning a bank in this state or subsidiaries of such holding companies, is confidential and privileged information and shall not be made public or otherwise disclosed to any person, firm, corporation, agency, association, governmental body, or other entity.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section notwithstanding, the director may furnish all or any part of examination reports, work papers, supervisory agreements or directives, orders, or other information obtained in the conduct of an examination or investigation prepared by the director's office to:
(a) Federal agencies empowered to examine state banks, trust companies, or alien banks;
(b) Bank regulatory authorities with whom the director has entered into agreements pursuant to *RCW 30.04.060(2), and other bank regulatory authorities who are the primary regulatory authority or insurer of accounts for a bank holding company owning a bank, trust company, or national banking association the principal operations of which are conducted in this state or a subsidiary of such holding company; provided that the director shall first find that the reports of examination to be furnished shall receive protection from disclosure comparable to that accorded by this section;
(c) Officials empowered to investigate criminal charges subject to legal process, valid search warrant, or subpoena. If the director furnishes any examination report to officials empowered to investigate criminal charges, the director may only furnish that part of the report which is necessary and pertinent to the investigation, and the director may do this only after notifying the affected bank, trust company, or alien bank and any customer of the bank, trust company, or alien bank who is named in that part of the examination or report ordered to be furnished unless the officials requesting the report first obtain a waiver of the notice requirement from a court of competent jurisdiction for good cause;
(d) The examined bank, trust company, or alien bank, or holding company thereof;
(e) The attorney general in his or her role as legal advisor to the director;
(f) Liquidating agents of a distressed bank, trust company, or alien bank;
(g) A person or organization officially connected with the bank as officer, director, attorney, auditor, or independent attorney or independent auditor;
(h) The Washington public deposit protection commission as provided by RCW 39.58.105;
(i) Organizations insuring or guaranteeing the shares of, or deposits in, the bank or trust company; or
(j) Other persons as the director may determine necessary to protect the public interest and confidence.
(3) All examination reports, work papers, supervisory agreements or directives, orders, and other information obtained in the conduct of an examination or investigation furnished under subsections (2) and (4) of this section shall remain the property of the department of financial institutions, and be confidential and no person, agency, or authority to whom reports are furnished or any officer, director, or employee thereof shall disclose or make public any of the reports or any information contained therein except in published statistical material that does not disclose the affairs of any individual or corporation: PROVIDED, That nothing herein shall prevent the use in a criminal prosecution of reports furnished under subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The examination report made by the department of financial institutions is designed for use in the supervision of the bank, trust company, or alien bank. The report shall remain the property of the director and will be furnished to the bank, trust company, or alien bank solely for its confidential use. Under no circumstances shall the bank, trust company, or alien bank or any of its directors, officers, or employees disclose or make public in any manner the report or any portion thereof, to any person or organization not connected with the bank as officer, director, employee, attorney, auditor, or candidate for executive office with the bank. The bank may also, after execution of an agreement not to disclose information in the report, disclose the report or relevant portions thereof to a party proposing to acquire or merge with the bank.
(5) Examination reports and information obtained by the director and the director's staff in conducting examinations, or obtained from other state and federal bank regulatory authorities with whom the director has entered into agreements pursuant to *RCW 30.04.060(2), or relating to examination and supervision of bank holding companies owning a bank, trust company, or national banking association the principal operations of which are conducted in this state or a subsidiary of such holding company, or information obtained as a result of applications or investigations pursuant to RCW 30.04.230, shall not be subject to public disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW.
(6) In any civil action in which the reports are sought to be discovered or used as evidence, any party may, upon notice to the director, petition the court for an in camera review of the report. The court may permit discovery and introduction of only those portions of the report which are relevant and otherwise unobtainable by the requesting party. This subsection shall not apply to an action brought or defended by the director.
(7) This section shall not apply to investigation reports prepared by the director and the director's staff concerning an application for a new bank or trust company or an application for a branch of a bank, trust company, or alien bank: PROVIDED, That the director may adopt rules making confidential portions of the reports if in the director's opinion the public disclosure of the portions of the report would impair the ability to obtain the information which the director considers necessary to fully evaluate the application.
(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or other applicable law, a bank, trust company, alien bank, or holding company is not in violation of this section on account of its compliance with required reporting to the federal securities and exchange commission, including the disclosure of any order of the director.
(9) Every person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[2010 c 88 § 9; 2005 c 274 § 251; 1994 c 92 § 11; 1989 c 180 § 2; 1986 c 279 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 245 § 1.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 30.04.060 was amended by 2010 c 88 § 7, changing subsection (2) to subsection (6).|
Effective date -- 2010 c 88: See RCW 32.50.900.
Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.
Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 245: "If any provision of this act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1977 ex.s. c 245 § 6.]
Examination reports and information from financial institutions exempt: RCW 42.56.400.