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Banking Act 1979

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

19Confidentiality of information obtained by the Bank

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section and section 20 below, no information obtained under or for the purposes of this Act and relating to the business or other affairs of any person may be disclosed (otherwise than to an officer or employee of the Bank) except—

(a)with the consent of the person to whom the information relates; or

(b)to the extent that it is information which is at the time of the disclosure, or has previously been, available to the public from other sources; or

(c)in the form of a summary or collection of information so framed as not to enable information relating to any particular person to be ascertained from it.

(2)Nothing in subsection (1) above prohibits the disclosure of information—

(a)with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any criminal proceedings, whether under this Act or otherwise;

(b)in connection with any other proceedings arising out of this Act; or

(c)in order to enable the Bank to comply with any obligation imposed on it by or under this Act.

(3)If, in order to enable the Bank properly to discharge any of its functions under this Act, the Bank considers it necessary to seek advice from any qualified person on any matter of law, accountancy, valuation or other matter requiring the exercise of professional skill, nothing in subsection (1) above prohibits the disclosure to that person of such information as may appear to the Bank to be necessary to ensure that he is properly informed with respect to the matters on which his advice is sought.

(4)Nothing in subsection (1) above prohibits the disclosure of information—

(a)to the Treasury in circumstances where, in the opinion of the Bank, it is desirable or expedient that the information should be so disclosed in the interest of depositors or in the public interest; or

(b)to the Deposit Protection Board established under Part II of this Act in order to enable that Board to perform any of their functions under that Part.

(5)Nothing in subsection (1) above prohibits the disclosure to the Secretary of State of information relating to a body corporate to which section 165 or section 172 of the Companies Act 1948 applies if it appears to the Bank that there may be circumstances relating to the body corporate in which the Secretary of State might wish to appoint inspectors under—

(a)sub-paragraph (i) or sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (b) of the said section 165 (investigation of cases of fraud, etc.); or

(b)the said section 172 (investigation of ownership of company, etc.).

(6)Nothing in subsection (1) above prohibits the disclosure to the authorities which exercise in a country or territory outside the United Kingdom functions corresponding to those of the Bank under this Act of information which was furnished by or relates to a recognised bank or licensed institution which—

(a)carries on or proposes to carry on a deposit-taking business in that country or territory, whether directly, through a subsidiary or otherwise, or

(b)has or proposes to acquire an interest in an institution which carries on or proposes to carry on a deposit-taking business in that country or territory, or

(c)is a subsidiary of, or appears to the Bank to be otherwise associated with, an institution which is established under the law of that country or territory or whose principal place of business is, or is proposed to be, in that country or territory,

if it appears to the Bank that the disclosure of the information would assist those authorities in the exercise of those functions.

(7)Any person who discloses information in contravention of subsection (1) above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; and

(b)on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or both.

(8)In the application of this section to Northern Ireland,—

(a)for any reference in subsection (5) above to section 165 or section 172 of the Companies Act 1948 there shall be substituted respectively a reference to section 159 or section 165A of the Companies Act (Northern Ireland) 1960 ; and

(b)for any reference in that subsection to the Secretary of State there shall be substituted a reference to the Department of Commerce for Northern Ireland.

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