The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) is warning consumers and businesses who bank online to retain hard copy records of all their account transactions to guard against possible future disputes or computer system failures.
A financial survey from Acca reveals that the number of people in the United Kingdom using online banking services rose by 37.5% to 5.5 million customers in the space of just six months to October 2001. Further projections suggest the UK online banking market is expected to increase to 13.3 million consumers by 2005, or 22% of the UK population.
Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at Acca, says: "The figures are a strong indication that people are becoming more at ease with using the Internet. However, the idea that banking online will eradicate the need for consumers to keep hard copies of their accounts is probably a myth, because permanent records still need to be kept, should any anomalies occur. Also, retaining hard copies means customers can still access their account details in the event of a computer system crash."