EC proposes new bank data sharing proposals with the US

29 March 2010

European Commission (EC) and the US have begun to renegotiate an agreement over bank data transfers as part of a counter-terrorism strategy, the former announced.

Discussion on legislation is starting again after the European Parliament (EP) failed to approve a potential agreement put forward by the EC in February.

Ministers had agreed on an interim nine month arrangement in November which would have provided US anti-terror investigators with access to the details of banking transactions carried out via SWIFT.

EP failed to approve the proposal as many ministers were reported to have felt left out from the consultation process.

In a statement, the EC said: “In order to avoid security gaps as relevant data are only kept for 124 days by SWIFT, the commission is putting forward a new proposal which should meet EP concerns.”

The new mandate will adhere to the US’ Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme and is expected to enhance data protection surrounding personal banking details.

Cecilia Malmström, commissioner for Home Affairs, told Bloomberg: “Terrorism remains among the main threats that EU security has to face and we need to put in place tools that are up to the task, allowing for effective international cooperation.

A new agreement between the US and the EC is due to be reached by summer 2010.

By Jim Ottewill

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