CoreStates Unit Reaches a Pact On Taping of Telephone Calls

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A CoreStates Financial Corp. subsidiary has agreed to tell consumers when it is recording their phone calls, Pennsylvania's attorney general said.

CoreStates Hamilton Bank also agreed to pay $5,000 in costs to the state.

Customers were recorded when they called numbers that some of the bank's brokerage units had promoted in advertisements.

The agreement resolved objections to the practice.

Beep Versus Notice

The Pennsylvania Wiretap Act prohibits the recording of a call unless both the caller and the party called agree to the process.

CoreStates Hamilton, based in Lancaster, had argued that a beeping noise provided sufficient notice that calls were being recorded.

But the office of Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. pointed out that callers who later signed brokerage agreements were asked to give explicit consent to being recorded.

Making It Clear

Although the bank did not admit to wrongdoing, it agreed to explicitly tell callers to advertised telephone numbers that they are being recorded.

Also, employees will be instructed to mention the recording, the bank said.

A beep will still be provided, and the bank said it would continue to provide at least one line on which calls are not recorded.

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