Westpac has pulled out of The Trust Centre, an initiative sponsored by the Australian bank with a mandate to provide third party customer identity management services to financial services firms.
Westpac had provided seed funding for the venture, which was set up in 2006 to provide banks with electronic customer identity verification services in a bid to fight phishing and identity theft.
But in a statement the Australian bank says: "The Trust Centre vision still holds great promise, however the industry is not yet ready to embrace this vision to enable it to become a reality."
"In light of this, a decision has been made to bring a number of the great initiatives started by the centre back into the Westpac fold," says the bank's statement.
The bank says it will continue to pursue a number of online security initiatives started by The Trust Centre.
In addition to Westpac pulling out of the venture, three of The Trust Centre's senior staff have defected and founded their own consultancy firm.
Former program director/project manager at the Trust Centre Andrew McDonald, COO of the venture Ben Forrest and former chief technical officer Matthew Sinclair have founded Carpadium Consulting, which provides technology, identity management, and security consulting services to Australian financial services firms.