Amendment in Banking Law Regarding Personal Data Protection

With Law no. 7222 on Amending Banking Law and Some Other Laws, which entered into force upon publication on the Official Gazette dated 25 February 2020, some amendments on personal data protection were made in Banking Law no. 5411, specific to banking activities.

As per Article 10 of Law no. 7222:

The definition of “customer secrets” was added in Article 73 of Banking Law. According to the regulation, “Information collected and relating to a real or legal person's banking activities becomes customer secrets after the bank-customer relationship is built.” With the mentioned regulation, information relating not only to real persons but also legal persons were included within the scope of customer secrets, more comprehensively than Personal Data Protection Law no. 6698.

In accordance with the relevant amendment, it is prohibited to share and transfer information of customer secret nature with third parties within and outside the country without the customer’s request or instructions, even though the customer’s explicit consent is obtained. Within this scope, imperative provisions and cases excluded from the confidentiality obligation as per other laws are considered exclusions.

With the mentioned provision, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency was authorized to prohibit sharing or transferring all kinds of information of customer secret nature or bank secret nature with third parties outside the country in consequence of its assessments on economic security, and to decide on ensuring that information systems and their backups, used by banks for performing their activities, are kept within the country.

Sharing of information of customer secret nature and bank secret nature should be limited to the purposes for which they are shared and comply with the principle of being proportionate, including the exclusions regulated in Article 73 within the scope of confidentiality obligation.

Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency was authorized to determine the scope, procedures and principles for sharing and transferring information of secret nature, or to impose restrictions on the same.

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