Section: General rules of construction
1. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest for depository institutions in this State to conduct voluntary internal reviews and audits of their operations, practices and procedures for the purpose of discovering and correcting any operations, practices or procedures which do not comply with applicable law or regulation or which do not comply with recognized industry standards or with the institution's own standards and for the purpose of preventing continuing and more serious violations. However, if studies and reports beyond those legally required are available to third parties and potentially can result in liabilities and penalties to the institution, the institution is discouraged from making these additional efforts. A legal structure that promotes self-policing programs can achieve improved compliance effectively at less cost to the State and to the depository institutions. Voluntary compliance review, when properly conducted and implemented, results not only in better compliance with law, but in the adoption of procedures and policies by the depository institutions that exceed minimum legal requirements, and that save money by benefiting customers, lowering costs and reducing potential liabilities.
The Legislature therefore determines that it is the public policy of the State to encourage depository institutions to participate in voluntary compliance reviews and corrective action programs by protecting the results of voluntary compliance reviews from third parties. This privilege is intended to apply only to efforts beyond the normal processing of customer transactions of the institution, to protect reports newly created for the purpose of testing and monitoring compliance, which otherwise might not be undertaken. Information required to be maintained pursuant to any federal or State law or regulation or in the normal processing of customer transactions will not become privileged just because it is utilized or incorporated in a voluntary compliance review report.
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