EU banks ‘must store records for police’

Personal data on electronic bank transfers made to and from the European
Union (EU) should be stored and made available on request to law enforcement
authorities fighting terrorism, the European Commission has proposed.

Its tabled regulation, which will be pushed hard during the UK presidency of
the EU, says banks and payment services must store the name, address and account
number of customers sending money out of the EU.

It also insists that such information is provided on the source of funds
being transferred into the EU, and that transfers should be rejected if a
payment-handler ‘repeatedly fails to supply the required information’.

For transfers of money within the EU, storing an account number will be
sufficient. In all cases, personal data would be stored for five years, and only
used by police and intelligence services for fighting terrorism.

EU internal market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: ‘The fight against
terrorism requires a sustained and focused effort on many fronts.’

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