January 4, 2005
From: Rosanne Notaro
To: [ ]
To clarify a bit further in response to the phone conversation we just had
in which you raised yet a more "refined" question, the advice below was not
intended to restrict bank employees only to "accessing" emails in the
narrow sense, but to allow employees to respond to emails and communicate
back and forth regarding bank business.
The Department recognizes that at some point, the line has the potential to
get blurred between routine email communication and email communication
that borders on "effecting" transactions. However, we would expect that
regulated institutions bear in mind the underlying rationale for the policy
in developing guidlines for their employees' activities.
I hope that this is (still) helpful.
To: [ ]
I confirmed that the Department's Vacation Policy as set forth in the
August 1996 Industry Letter on the website has been interpreted to permit
bank employees to stay in touch by accessing emails through blackberry or
similar devices. As you suspected, the gist of the prohibition on
employees being "on-line" was to ensure that they are not involved in
effecting transactions, book entries, etc.
I trust this is helpful. Please let me know if you need any additional
First Assistant Counsel - Banks