(a) Board policy.
(1) It is the Board's policy regarding confidential supervisory information that such information is confidential and privileged. Accordingly, the Board does not normally disclose confidential supervisory information to the public or authorize third parties in possession of confidential supervisory information to further use or disclose the information. When considering a request to access, use, or to disclose confidential supervisory information under this section, the Board will not authorize access, use, or disclosure unless the requesting person is able to show a substantial need to access, use, or disclose such information that outweighs the need to maintain confidentiality.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the Board will not authorize access to or disclosure of any suspicious activity report (SAR), or any information that would reveal the existence of a SAR, except as necessary to fulfill official duties consistent with Title II of the Bank Secrecy Act. For purposes of this part, “official duties” shall not include the disclosure of a SAR, or any information that would reveal the existence of a SAR, in response to a request for disclosure of nonpublic information or a request for use in a private legal proceeding, including a request pursuant to this section.
(1) In connection with any proposed use of confidential supervisory information in litigation before a court, board, commission, agency, or arbitration, any person who -
(i) Seeks access to confidential supervisory information from the Board or a Reserve Bank (including the testimony of present or former Board or Reserve Bank employees on matters involving confidential supervisory information, whether by deposition or otherwise),
(ii) Seeks to use confidential supervisory information in its possession or to disclose such information to another party, or
(iii) Seeks to require a person to disclose confidential supervisory information to a party, shall file a written request with the General Counsel.
(2) The request shall include:
(i) The judicial or administrative action, including the case number and court or adjudicative body and a copy of the complaint or other pleading setting forth the assertions in the case;
(ii) A description of any prior judicial or other decisions or pending motions in the case that may bear on the asserted relevance of the requested information;
(iii) A narrow and specific description of the confidential supervisory information the requester seeks to access or to disclose for use in the litigation including, whenever possible, the specific documents the requester seeks to access or disclose;
(iv) The relevance of the confidential supervisory information to the issues or matters raised by the litigation;
(v) The reason why the information sought, or equivalent information adequate to the needs of the case, cannot be obtained from any other source; and
(vi) A commitment to obtain a protective order acceptable to the Board from the judicial or administrative tribunal hearing the action preserving the confidentiality of any information that is provided.
(3) In the case of requests covered by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, the Board may require the party to whom disclosure would ultimately be made to substantiate its need for the information prior to acting on any request.
(c) All other requests. Any other person seeking to access, use, or disclose confidential supervisory information for any other purpose shall file a written request with the General Counsel. A request under this paragraph (c) shall describe the purpose for which access, use, or disclosure is sought and the requester shall provide other information as requested by the General Counsel.
(d) Action on request -
(1) Determination of approval. The General Counsel may approve a request made under this section provided that he or she determines that:
(i) The person seeking access, or the person to whom access would be provided, has shown a substantial need to access confidential supervisory information that outweighs the need to maintain confidentiality; and
(ii) Approval is consistent with the supervisory and regulatory responsibilities and policies of the Board.
(2) Conditions or limitations. The General Counsel may, in approving a request, impose such conditions or limitations on use of any information disclosed as is deemed necessary to protect the confidentiality of the Board's information.
(e) Exhaustion of administrative remedies for discovery purposes in civil, criminal, or administrative action. Action on a request under this section by the General Counsel is necessary in order to exhaust administrative remedies for discovery purposes in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding. A request made pursuant to § 261.11 of this regulation does not exhaust administrative remedies for discovery purposes. Therefore, it is not necessary to file a request pursuant to § 261.11 to exhaust administrative remedies under this section.