Office of Privacy Protection

Wisconsin Privacy Laws: Financial Information Privacy

Access to credit reports; Wis. Stat. § 100.54
An individual may require a consumer reporting agency to put a “security freeze” on his or her credit report. Where a security freeze is in place, the consumer reporting agency may not release the individual’s credit report for any purpose related to the extension of credit to any person without the individual’s consent, except in certain specified situations.

An individual who has placed a security freeze on his or her credit report may authorize release of the report to a specific person, or may remove the freeze, by providing the point of contact designated by the consumer reporting agency with the pre-arranged personal identification number or password and paying any fee that may be required not to exceed $10 per request.

If a lender requests access to an individual’s consumer report that is subject to a freeze, and the request is made in connection with the individual’s application for the extension of credit, the credit reporting agency may tell the lender that the report is subject to a freeze, and the lender may treat the individual’s application as incomplete.

Savings banks - access to books and records; Wis. Stat. § 214.37 (00)
A savings bank, which is regulated by the state, must keep its financial records confidential. A person has the right to inspect any records maintained by the bank concerning that person’s deposit accounts or loans, and may authorize others to have access to these records.

Otherwise, access to financial records or information contained in those records that identify an individual customer is limited to the following:

  • To an officer, employee or agent of the savings bank to prepare, examine, handle, or maintain, or a certified public accountant engaged by the savings bank to perform an audit.
  • To an officer, agent or employee of the state division of banking or other government authorized banking organization.
  • As part of the regular exchange of credit information the savings bank and other financial institutions, a mortgage broker, or a consumer reporting agency.
  • As information furnished to the appropriate law enforcement authority if the savings bank believes a crime has been committed involving the savings bank.
  • Furnished pursuant to legal process, such as a subpoena, summons, warrant or court order.
  • Where disclosure is required by state or federal law, such as reports to the Internal Revenue Service, information furnished in accordance with the Wisconsin unclaimed property act, information concerning the dishonor of a negotiable instrument required to be disclosed under the uniform commercial code, or disclosures required upon the death of the depositor.

A savings bank may sell or otherwise make use of a list of customers if all of the following apply:

  • The list only includes the names and addresses of the customers, and has no other information.
  • The savings bank notifies all customers on the list of its intent to sell the information and gives the customer an opportunity to refuse to allow the sale of his or her name and address.
  • The person who receives the list agrees not to give it to anyone else.

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