Privacy Policy

This is the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Bank respects your privacy.

See the Privacy Policy

General Reserve Bank Data Privacy Notice

Introduction and Scope

This privacy notice provides a high-level overview of Federal Reserve Bank (Reserve Bank) activities that rely at least in part on use of personal information. We seek to provide transparency into relevant Reserve Bank functions, the personal information involved and general uses of such information.

While this notice covers general categories of activities and functions conducted across and within multiple Reserve Banks, each Reserve Bank is a separate legal entity responsible for its own privacy practices. As some of the many functions that the Reserve Banks perform have been operationally consolidated into one or more Reserve Banks, each Reserve Bank is publishing a similar version of this notice regardless of whether a function is performed at a particular Reserve Bank. This is to make it easier to find relevant information without having to understand the complexities of the Federal Reserve System.

When we use the term personal information in this notice, we mean personal information handled or retained by a Reserve Bank that is linked or linkable to an individual. This notice covers instances where personal information is received from sources other than the individuals to which the personal information relates. It also covers situations where individuals provide information for Reserve Bank security or law enforcement purposes.

This notice is not intended to cover situations:

  1. that are generally covered by more specific notices posted at the point of collection, such as collecting personal information directly from members of the public on the web (e.g., signing up for newsletters);
  2. where the Reserve Banks collect or use personal information for routine corporate functions, such as managing employees, administering benefit plans, performing audits and accounting; and
  3. that involve operation of Reserve Bank websites (e.g., cookie policies).

Reserve Bank Functions That Use PII

This notice describes the six core functions that the Reserve Banks perform involving personal information that are within the scope explained above. Regardless of functional area, the Reserve Banks DO NOT sell personal information to unrelated third parties for their commercial benefit. The Reserve Banks DO share personal information if required by law or if such sharing is necessary to accomplish the listed functions and activities–including sharing between the Reserve Banks and with Reserve Bank vendors if such vendor requires the information to provide services to the Reserve Bank(s).

Banking Supervision and Regulation

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is a federal agency that is responsible for the supervision and regulation of certain financial institutions and bank holding companies. The Board has delegated some of these functions to Reserve Banks acting as agents of the Board.

As part of the delegated functions, the Reserve Banks receive personal information from financial institutions. For example, Reserve Banks review consumer loan data as part of an examination of a bank. Reserve Banks may also receive personal information about individuals who are involved in bank leadership in connection with applications submitted by such bank for approval. In carrying out Board delegated functions, the Reserve Banks are required to follow the Board’s data privacy policies.

Learn more about what personal information may be involved in supervisory activities.

Fiscal Agent Services to the United States Department of the Treasury

The Reserve Banks act as fiscal agents to the U.S. Treasury to support its goals related to collecting, disbursing, borrowing, investing and accounting for government funds.

In this capacity, the Reserve Banks collect, use and share personal information for the exclusive purpose of providing such fiscal services, which include payment of government benefits and auctioning savings bonds to the public. In carrying out these functions, the Reserve Banks follow Treasury’s data privacy and other requirements.

See the list of privacy impact assessments published by Treasury.

Financial Services

The Reserve Banks provide financial services to depository institutions such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loans associations (together “financial institutions”). These services include acting as an intermediary between financial institutions for clearing checks and Automated Clearing House payments and electronically transferring funds.

The receipt and sharing of personal information is a necessary aspect of the Reserve Banks’ provision of financial services. As financial intermediaries, Reserve Banks come into possession of personal information, such as names, addresses and account numbers contained in payment instruments and instructions provided by the financial institutions. In some instances a check or payment instruction might also include a Social Security number or other more sensitive personal information. As financial intermediaries, the Reserve Banks rely on the financial institutions to provide the personal information used in the services and do not collect it directly from individuals. The Reserve Banks have no control over the type or accuracy of personal information submitted by financial institutions. The Reserve Banks pass payment instructions onto the next financial institution in the payment chain either directly or through the financial institution’s designated agent/vendor. Such information may also be used in connection with compliance activities and for other operational purposes related to payments processing.

Learn more about these financial services.

Lending

The Reserve Banks extend certain types of credit to financial institutions. This includes allowing short term overdrafts on accounts (called “daylight overdraft”) as well as other lending programs (called “Discount Window advances”).

Discount Window advances must be secured by collateral, and financial institutions can pledge collateral to avoid charges incurred by their use of daylight overdrafts. The collateral pledged to a Reserve Bank may include consumer loans (e.g., mortgage loans, auto loans). While the loans generally remain in the custody of the financial institution borrowing from the Reserve Bank, the Reserve Banks require information about each of the loans pledged as collateral. The consumer loan level information obtained for collateral purposes includes name, loan number, loan amount and balance. If actual loan documentation is obtained for sampling or safekeeping purposes, it will include all the information contained therein, which may also include Social Security numbers, dates of birth and account numbers. Personal information obtained for the lending functions is used only to support and facilitate these lending activities. Generally, the information is used for collateral verification and valuation purposes. The personal information is shared internally to the extent necessary to support these activities.

Learn more about these activities.

Research and Monetary Policy

The Research and Monetary Policy functions conduct independent economic research for publication in leading academic journals and provide policy analysis in support of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy mission.

Economic research and policy analysis are data-intensive activities that sometimes involve analyzing mostly aggregate and/or de-identified personal information. The majority of this information is acquired from third-party data providers who aggregate large volumes of financial data and make it available for purchase. This information is generally anonymized through removal or obfuscation of select identifiers and its use is subject to restrictions about re-identifying it. The Reserve Banks may also acquire information from other third parties that specialize in aggregating publicly available data sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics or county tax records. This information is used for research purposes and for supporting the Reserve Bank presidents in their monetary policy capacity associated with the Federal Open Market Committee. The Reserve Banks are subject to strict use, confidentiality and sharing requirements with respect to this information.

Law Enforcement

Each Reserve Bank has its own Federal Reserve Law Enforcement officers responsible for protecting its facilities, physical assets and staff.

In order to protect the people and assets of the Reserve Banks, Law Enforcement collects some personal information from people who visit the Reserve Banks for business or other reasons. Such visitors may be required to provide identifying information before being allowed access to Reserve Bank facilities. This information may include name and information on a government issued ID. Some Reserve Banks also collect personal information for the purpose of conducting background checks. This information is used to verify the identity of an individual and determine whether such individual poses a threat to the security of the Reserve bank. Background checks are conducted with the consent of the individual and will generally involve the sharing of personal information with vendors engaged to perform screening and/or governmental agencies that conduct aspects of the screening.

Questions or Comments

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this notice or the Reserve Banks’ general privacy practices, please use the form below. We only use the personal information you provide to respond to your question, comment or concern.

Questions or comments relating to Board delegated and fiscal agent functions should be directed to the Board of Governors and the U.S. Treasury, respectively.


Privacy Policy

Personal Information

You may access and browse our site without disclosing your personal data. The personal information you choose to provide us is voluntary. We do not require you to provide any information about yourself that you do not wish to share.

You may choose to provide us with personal information if, for example, you subscribe to our publications or mail lists, send us questions through e-mail, answer our user surveys, register for an event or user account, apply for a job or participate in our online activities.

If you participate in a user survey, your answers and personal information will only be analyzed in aggregate. The information will be used to help us tailor our website, publications and services to our users' needs and to help us understand our audience.

If you provide us with your postal or e-mail address or telephone number, this information will only be used for the purpose for which you provided it, such as to:

  • provide you with the publications or information requested;
  • clarify your order or request;
  • register you for a user account, conference or other event;
  • respond to you regarding your job application;
  • provide you with related information; or
  • send you a token of appreciation through postal mail if you participate in selected online activities.

We may also file your comments to improve the site, or review and discard the information. When you fill out our online forms, your responses are not encrypted.

Cookies

A cookie is a text file that a website can send to your browser and which may then be placed on your computer. We may use cookies on this site in the following ways:

  1. To collect statistical information about our users in aggregate. We perform analyses on our web server's log files to identify, among other things:
    • our site's most popular pages;
    • the browsers and operating systems most often used by our visitors;
    • the sites and search engines that have referred visitors to our site; and
    • the domains from which our users visit us.

    This analysis does not involve personally identifiable information. It is used only for the purpose of helping us understand and better meet our audiences' needs. Some aggregate website analysis is performed for us by Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/), and may involve the use of cookies set by Google. For Google's Privacy policy, see http://www.google.com/privacy.html.

  2. If you register for a user account, a transient, memory-resident "cookie" will be invoked when you log in to your user account and will disappear when your browser is closed. If you check the 'Stay logged in' option for your Research user account, the cookie will persist for a maximum of 2 weeks before another login is required. You are not required to register for a user account to use this site.
  3. Sometimes a third-party contractor will use cookies on one of the sites it creates and manages for us—for example, our Careers section.
  4. For YouTube videos that are visible on our site, a persistent cookie is set by third party provider, YouTube, when you click to play the video. YouTube's privacy policy regarding these persistent cookies can be read here: http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/t/privacync. If you would like to view a video without the use of persistent cookies, a link to download the video file is provided just below the video, if it is available.
  5. You can set your browser to notify you before you receive a cookie, giving you the opportunity to decide whether to accept it or not. You can also set your browser to not accept cookies at all. If you do so, however, some areas of some sites (including ours) may not operate properly.

Information Collected Automatically

We collect statistical information about our users in aggregate. We perform analyses on our web server's log files to identify, among other things:

  • our site's most popular pages;
  • the browsers and operating systems most often used by our visitors;
  • the sites and search engines that have referred visitors to our site; and
  • the domains from which our users visit us.

This analysis does not involve personally identifiable information. It is used only for the purpose of helping us understand and better meet our audiences' needs. Some aggregate website analysis is performed for us by Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/), and may involve the use of cookies set by Google. For Google's Privacy policy, see http://www.google.com/privacy.html.

Disclosure of Information

Any information collected on this website, whether individual or aggregate, is for Federal Reserve use only. We do not rent, sell or share personal information about you with other people or nonaffiliated companies except under any of the following circumstances:

  • When we have your permission;
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis monitors this site for unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, to defeat or circumvent security measures, or to utilize this site for other than its intended purposes. By using this site you expressly consent to such monitoring and you are advised that if such monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity, we will provide the evidence of such monitoring to law enforcement officials;
  • We retain the services of outside contractors to provide services, including mailing list administration and our Job Opportunities pages. We require that these contractors keep information obtained through our website secure and confidential. We also require that these contractors use personal information obtained through our website only on behalf of the Federal Reserve.
  • We may be required to disclose your personal information to government officials or otherwise as required by subpoenas, court orders, legal process or other legal obligations and to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims. We will share information in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud or as otherwise required by law.

Children

Our site is not directed toward children under 13. Nonetheless, we are committed to comply with applicable laws and requirements, such as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. We do not knowingly collect personal data from children under 13. Minor children should always obtain parental consent before releasing personal information to any website.

Information Security and Quality

We have implemented security measures consistent with our internal information security practices to help us keep your information secure. These measures include technical and procedural steps to protect your data from misuse, access or disclosure, loss, alteration or destruction.

If you have voluntarily submitted personal information to us in connection with setting up a user account and wish to review, update or correct it, please login to your account. If you forgot your login information or wish to delete your record, please e-mail your request to webmaster@stlouisfed.org. If you have a Research account, please email webmaster@research.stlouisfed.org.

If you have voluntarily submitted other personal information to us and wish to review, update, correct or delete it, please e-mail your request to webmaster@stlouisfed.org.

Links

Our site contains links to other websites. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

Other Considerations

We may from time to time provide a discussion group or forum. Please remember that information you submit in connection with such a feature will be publicly viewable and not confidential. There is a risk in such communication venues that information will be collected and used by others.

Policy Changes

We reserve the right to change this policy at any time without notice. If any change to our policy affects the way we use your personal information, we will provide an avenue for you to opt out of such use.

Contact Information

Questions or comments about the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis's privacy policy may be directed to our website administrators at webmaster@stlouisfed.org or webmaster@research.stlouisfed.org, or by writing to Public Affairs, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, PO Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166-0442.

Submission Form

Please use this form to send us your inquiries about our privacy practices.

*
*
*
*