After issuing a series of recommendations to five banks in 2012, and within the context of the discussions aimed at reaching a global settlement to the tax dispute, we published an explanatory leaflet that sets out the procedures to be followed by banks that wish to transfer personal data. We also provided advice to the employees concerned and informed them of their rights.
In the autumn of 2012, we carried out a fact-finding mission at 5 banks that were involved in the transfer of employee data to the US authorities. After completing our inspection in October 2012, we issued five recommendations. During the debate that took place in the spring of 2013 on the subject of a global settlement to the tax dispute with the USA, discussions also centred around the involvement of other banks in data transfers. We were contacted once again and we participated in various internal meetings organised by the federal administration. We used the opportunity to set out our position and to explain the procedures outlined in our recommendations.
We have always made it clear that all banks intending to transfer personal data to the US authorities, even if our recommendations were not targeted directly at them, must always respect data protection principles and consider themselves bound by our recommendations. Since Parliament did not succeed in creating a legal basis, we published an explanatory leaflet (in German, French or Italian) which describes the procedure which all banks must follow when transmitting personal data. At the same time, we directly contacted certain banks and informed them of the existence of the explanatory leaflet. We also provided advice to the employees concerned and informed them of their rights.