BANK’S DUTY OF CONFIDENTIALITY UNDER CAMEROONIAN LAW: ABSOLUTE OR QUALIFIED?
The idea of people keeping or entrusting their money (finances) and other precious items with Financial Institutions was as a result of the reliable and secured nature of these institutions. These are aspects which instilled confidence and trust in the minds of the customers dealing with Financial Institutions. The situation, however, gets worrisome when these same bankers and personnel of Financial Institutions carry to the public information concerning their customers and the state of their finances which were and are at all times expected to be secret. The disclosure of customers’ information have often been seen as a breach of the bank’s duty of confidentiality and to an extent has affected the rate of financial inclusion by the unbanked and under banked in certain societies around the world and in some Cameroonian localities. This situation has even worsened with the advent of electronic banking coupled with the movement of illegal funds from Money Laundry and Cyber Criminality putting in question and jeopardy the trust worthy nature of Financial Institutions by some customers. These criminal issues during court proceedings most often warrant that information about banking customers and the state of their finances be release so as to unveil criminal acts and punish fraudsters, which often have been considered by customers to constitute a breach of the bank’s duty of confidentiality which the customers vehemently castigate. This paper thus aims at investigating if the bankers’ duty of confidentiality is an absolute duty.