On Thursday, the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Trade Commission issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist financial institutions, creditors, users of consumer reports, and card issuers in complying with the Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Rules under FACTA.  Among the answers to the FAQs:

  • Although there is no specific record retention requirement under the Rules, covered entities must be able to demonstrate that they have complied with the requirements of the Rules;
  • All banks, savings associations, and credit unions are covered by the Red Flags Rules as “financial institutions,” whether or not they hold a transaction account belonging to a consumer;
  • The Red Flags Rules do not apply to the foreign branches of U.S. banks but, as a matter of safety and soundness, financial institutions are strongly encouraged to implement an effective identity theft prevention program throughout their operations, including in their foreign offices, consistent with local laws;
  • “Covered accounts” include accounts established in the U.S. by non-U.S. residents;
  • A broker, dealer, investment advisor, or investment or insurance company that is a “financial institution” or “creditor” under the FCRA is covered by the Red Flags Rules, including any such entity that is a subsidiary of a bank or savings association;
  • Corporate credit unions are covered by the Red Flags Rules;
  • If a consumer loan is purchased by another financial institution or creditor, then that entity becomes responsible for applying its Identity Theft Prevention Program to the loan as an existing covered account;
  • The Address Discrepancy Rules only apply to notices of address discrepancy received from an NCRA (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).  However,  a notification of address discrepancy received from an entity that is not an NCRA may be a red flag for purposes of the Red Flags Rules;
  • If a consumer withdraws his or her application to open a new account, a user of a consumer report that receives a notice of address discrepancy need not take steps to establish a reasonable belief that the consumer report relates to the consumer.