A new compliance guide that helps banks protect consumers’ sensitive information is now available, published by federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies, the groups said today.

The guide helps banks understand the Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards. The compliance guide summarizes the obligations of financial institutions to protect customer information and illustrates how certain provisions of the Security Guidelines apply to specific situations, the agencies said.

The compliance guide provides detailed explanations of the core terms used in the Security Guidelines, the agencies said.

It also provides information to help financial institutions assess risks, design and implement an information security program, properly dispose of customer and consumer information, respond to incidents of unauthorized access to customer information, and oversee service providers that have access to customer information.

The compliance guide also lists resources that may be helpful in assessing risks and designing and implementing information security programs, the agencies said.

The guide is available on the Web sites of the sponsoring agencies: the Federal Reserve Board; Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and Office of Thrift Supervision.

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