FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Technology Survey: Community Banks Ready to Prevent Identity Theft
Washington, D.C. (July 31, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) 2008 Community Bank Technology Survey shows that the nationâ€™s community banks are prepared to fully implement federal â€identity theft red flagâ€ requirements by the Nov. 1, 2008 compliance deadline. The rules, part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, are designed to protect consumers from identity theft, one of the top consumer concerns according to the Federal Trade Commission.
"Community banks know how important it is to protect the identities of their customers. One of the hallmarks of community banking is trust. To maintain that trust, community banks do what is needed to protect customer information," said Karen Thomas, ICBA executive vice president and director of congressional relations. "ICBA is pleased that regardless of asset size, community banks across the board are doing what is necessary to implement the red flag rules and help prevent ID theft."
Three months before new federal red flag rules take effect, more than 95 percent of the community banks that responded to the ICBA survey are ready now or will be ready by the deadline. In addition, 70 percent are training their entire staff to comply with the new rules.
Community banks also are requiring service providers to have appropriate identity theft program procedures in place. The ICBA survey shows that 68 percent of community banks are legally binding their service providers to comply with the red flag rules via a contract and 35 percent plan to audit their service providers to ensure that customer data is protected.
The 2008 ICBA Community Bank Technology Survey is sponsored and coordinated by Plante & Moran, PLLC, the nation's 12th largest certified public accounting and business advisory firm which provides a variety of financial and technology services to community banks. Almost 1,300 community banks responded to the survey, which covers a variety of technology areas, including information security. Complete survey results will be released in the coming weeks.
Federal identity theft red flag rules require financial institutions to implement reasonable policies and procedures for detecting preventing, and mitigating identity theft in connection with consumer bank accounts and credit cards. The goal is to combat financial crimes such as new account fraud, account takeover and unauthorized transactions.