(a) The Commissioner shall keep a record in the OCOB of the Commissioner's official acts, rulings, and transactions that, except as otherwise provided, shall be open to inspection and copying by any person. The Commissioner may condition the provision of copies of records upon the payment by the person requesting the documents of an amount sufficient to cover the cost of retrieving, copying, and if requested, mailing the documents.
(b) Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, the following records of the Commissioner shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed or be subject to discovery or public inspection:
(1) Records compiled during or in connection with an examination, audit, or investigation of any person, including records relating to any application for licensure or otherwise to the conduct of business.
(2) Records containing information compiled in preparation for or anticipation of or in the course of litigation, examination, audit, or investigation.
(3) Records containing nonpublic personal information about a customer, whether in paper, electronic, or other form, that is maintained by or on behalf of the financial institution; provided, however, that every report made by a North Carolina financial institution, with respect to a transaction between it and an officer, director, or affiliate thereof, which report is required to be filed with the Commissioner pursuant to this Chapter, shall be filed with the Commissioner in a form prescribed by the Commissioner and shall be open to inspection and copying by any person.
(4) Records containing information furnished in connection with an application bearing on the character, competency, or experience, or information about the personal finances of an existing or proposed organizer, officer, or director of a depository institution, federally chartered institution, trust institution, holding company, or any other person subject to the Commissioner's jurisdiction.
(5) Records containing information about the character, competency, experience, or finances of the directors, officers, or other persons having control over a person giving notice or filing an application to engage in a control transaction pursuant to this Chapter.
(6) Records containing information about the character, competency, or experience of the directors, executive officers, or other persons having control over any of the parties to a combination subject to the Commissioner's jurisdiction.
(7) Records of North Carolina financial institutions in dissolution that have liquidated, that are under the Commissioner's supervisory control, or that are in receivership and that contain the names or other personal information of any customers of the institutions.
(8) Records prepared by a compliance review committee or other committee of the board of directors of a North Carolina financial institution or established at the direction of such a board of directors that have been obtained by the Commissioner.
(9) Records prepared during or as a result of an examination or investigation of any person by an agency of the United States, or jointly by the agency and the Commissioner, if the records would be confidential under federal law or regulation.
(10) Records prepared during or as a result of an examination or investigation of any person by a regulatory agency with jurisdiction of a state other than this State or of a foreign country if the records would be confidential under that jurisdiction's law or regulations.
(11) Records of information and reports submitted to federal regulatory agencies by any depository institution or trust institution, or its affiliates, holding company or its subsidiaries, or any other person subject to the Commissioner's jurisdiction, if the records would be confidential under federal law or regulation.
(12) Records of complaints from the public received by the OCOB.
(13) Any record that would disclose any information set forth in any of the confidential records referred to in this subsection.
(c) For purposes of this section, "any person subject to the Commissioner's jurisdiction" includes any person who is licensed or registered or should be licensed or registered under this Chapter.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the Commissioner may, by written agreement with any state or federal law enforcement or regulatory agency, share with that agency any confidential record set out in subsection (b) of this section or any information contained therein, on the condition that such record or information shared shall be treated as confidential under the applicable laws and regulations governing the recipient agency.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section which limit discovery of confidential records held by the Commissioner, such records may be produced for discovery in a criminal or enforcement proceeding if both of the following occur:
(1) After reviewing the discovery request, the court orders the Commissioner to submit the confidential records to the court for in camera review and the court finds that the interests of justice require that the documents be discoverable or admissible in evidence.
(2) After making the finding provided by subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court enters a protective order restricting access and public distribution or any republication of the confidential materials requested.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a bank, upon approval of the Commissioner, from disclosing to an insurance carrier, for the purpose of obtaining insurance coverage required by this Chapter, the bank's regulatory rating prepared by the OCOB; provided, however, that the insurance carrier must agree in writing to maintain the confidentiality of the information and not to disclose it in any manner whatsoever. (2012-56, s. 4.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014