1. Member States shall require that all persons working for or who have worked for competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions for compliance with this Directive and auditors or experts acting on behalf of such competent authorities shall be bound by the obligation of professional secrecy.
Without prejudice to cases covered by criminal law, confidential information which the persons referred to in the first subparagraph receive in the course of their duties under this Directive may be disclosed only in summary or aggregate form, in such a way that individual credit and financial institutions cannot be identified.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not prevent the exchange of information between:
(a) competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions within a Member State in accordance with this Directive or other legislative acts relating to the supervision of credit and financial institutions;
(b) competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions in different Member States in accordance with this Directive or other legislative acts relating to the supervision of credit and financial institutions, including the European Central Bank (ECB) acting in accordance with Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/20131. That exchange of information shall be subject to the conditions of professional secrecy indicated in paragraph 1.
By 10 January 2019, the competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions in accordance with this Directive and the ECB, acting pursuant to Article 27(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 and point (g) of the first subparagraph of Article 56 of Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council2, shall conclude, with the support of the European Supervisory Authorities, an agreement on the practical modalities for exchange of information.
3. Competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions receiving confidential information as referred to in paragraph 1, shall only use this information:
(a) in the discharge of their duties under this Directive or under other legislative acts in the field of AML/CFT, of prudential regulation and of supervising credit and financial institutions, including sanctioning;
(b) in an appeal against a decision of the competent authority supervising credit and financial institutions, including court proceedings;
(c) in court proceedings initiated pursuant to special provisions provided for in Union law adopted in the field of this Directive or in the field of prudential regulation and supervision of credit and financial institutions.
4. Member States shall ensure that competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions cooperate with each other for the purposes of this Directive to the greatest extent possible, regardless of their respective nature or status. Such cooperation also includes the ability to conduct, within the powers of the requested competent authority, inquiries on behalf of a requesting competent authority, and the subsequent exchange of the information obtained through such inquiries.
5. Member States may authorise their national competent authorities which supervise credit and financial institutions to conclude cooperation agreements providing for collaboration and exchanges of confidential information with the competent authorities of third countries that constitute counterparts of those national competent authorities. Such cooperation agreements shall be concluded on the basis of reciprocity and only if the information disclosed is subject to a guarantee of professional secrecy requirements at least equivalent to that referred to in paragraph 1. Confidential information exchanged according to those cooperation agreements shall be used for the purpose of performing the supervisory task of those authorities.
Where the information exchanged originates in another Member State, it shall only be disclosed with the explicit consent of the competent authority which shared it and, where appropriate, solely for the purposes for which that authority gave its consent.
1 Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 of 15 October 2013 conferring specific tasks on the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions (OJ L 287, 29.10.2013, p. 63)
2 Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on access to the activity of credit institutions and the prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, amending Directive 2002/87/EC and repealing Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC (OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 338)