On April 27, 2016, the OCC issued a bulletin reminding all OCC-supervised banks of their obligations to maintain and retain their records and the OCC’s authority to obtain prompt and complete access to each bank’s books and records and communicate freely with its employees, officers and directors. The guidance is being issued in response to the OCC’s discovery that certain communications technology being made available to banks contains data deletion and encryption features which could inhibit the OCC’s ability to access bank data and records. The guidance notes that the permanent deletion of internal communications is in conflict with the OCC’s expectations for sound governance, compliance, risk management and safety and soundness principles.

The OCC guidance is available at: http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/bulletins/2016/bulletin-2016-13.html