|March 31, 2000
Mr. Donald S. Clark
Re: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Privacy Rule, 13 CFR Part 313 - Comment
Dear Mr. Clark:
This information is submitted on behalf of Student Loans of North Dakota-Bank of North Dakota (SLND-BND) in response to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on privacy of consumer financial information published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on March 1, 2000.
Bank of North Dakota (BND) is owned and operated by the State of North Dakota. BND was created by state statute, and remains a state agency circumscribed by and dependent upon the rights, powers, and liabilities created by specific statutory enactments. Thus, BND is a unique institution combining elements of banking with state government. BND is included as part of the primary government in the State of North of North Dakota reporting entity and is required to follow the pronouncements of the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
BND does not compete with other lenders for market share, but encourages others lenders in the state to provide student loans to its customers. While SLND-BND does originate student loans, it also purchases student loans through secondary markets. Certain loan information is provided to schools as required by the Higher Education Act (HEA). However, BND loan information is subject to the state's open record laws, as well as state confidentiality provisions related to banking institutions.
BND is unique in its structure, therefore we recommend that the proposed rule further clarify the definition of "financial institution", by specifically identifying that a "state owned" bank is exempt from the proposed rule.
SLND-BND thanks the FTC for the opportunity to comment on its proposed rule. If you have questions regarding our comment, please contact John Kramer at 1-701-328-5726.