Feeds

UK banks agree to data sharing

But say plans 'may not catch criminals'

High performance access to file storage

UK banks have agreed to government data sharing proposals on suspected financial criminals, but say they want the public sector to share its data with them. The banks also express doubts about whether the plans would actually help to catch criminals.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) outlines its views on the new plans in a response to the Home Office's recent consultation paper on organised crime. That paper outlined a number of anti-crime measures, including the creation of corporate ASBOs for companies suspected of participating in organised crime.

"Data sharing between the public and private sector has to be a two way process," said the response of the BBA to the Home Office. The BBA also asks that "[data sharing] does not occur where there is no need, and avoids creating a competitive advantage".

The Home Office released a consultation paper proposing new powers to tackle organised and financial crime. The consultation period is over and its results are expected in November. The BBA was critical in its response of the government's handling of financial crime in the past.

"The Home Office proposals need to form part of an overall package of measures that will address the fundamental problem of a lack of strategic leadership in government in tackling financial crime that has contributed to the inconsistent measurement, prevention, enforcement and prosecution of fraud in the UK," said its response to government.

The paper from government proposed the creation of "corporate ASBOs", control orders on companies which are suspected of being involved in criminal activity. In the introduction to the report, Home Secretary John Reid admitted that the orders would be used where there was not enough evidence for a prosecution. "These sort of orders might be used in cases where there was a strong weight of evidence but not enough for a prosecution," he wrote.

The BBA expressed reservations about the effects of such orders. "At a pragmatic level, the proposal seems a laudable way of targeting the activities of those on the fringes of criminal activity without imposing further burdens on an already straining criminal justice system," its response said. "However, as an indication of government intentions towards tackling the causes of crime, the proposed Ocpo (Organised Crime Prevention Order) raises a number of concerns."

"These are: unless designed to prevent harm rather than as a punitive measure, such orders might attract the protection of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights; inappropriate application of Ocpo against an innocent institution, as a third party supplier to the recipient of the order; pressure for banks and other financial institutions to, in effect, monitor and police the operation of the Ocpo and the recipient's compliance with it; Ocpos should not replace the deterrence of prosecution where the necessary evidence and proof of criminality exists."

The BBA also said the plans will not necessarily lead to more prosecutions of criminals. "It is clearly disappointing that the proposals in themselves, even if implemented fully, will not necessarily lead to increased police and law enforcement investigations and prosecutions," said the BBA.

"The absence of any mandating or tasking of police investigations makes it difficult to determine what the law enforcement outputs would be, if any. While interesting and useful to obtain a greater understanding of the lifetime career of individual fraudsters, there can be no more effective deterrent than prosecution, sentencing, and asset recovery."

The BBA represents 240 banks from 60 countries and claims that financial services account for 8.5 per cent of the UK economy and a quarter of UK corporation tax.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.