The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has welcomed a decision by the UK government to allow banks access to the electoral register for money laundering, fraud and credit checking.
Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford yesterday published draft regulations that will allow two versions of the electoral roll to be published in an effort to balance the individual elector’s right to privacy and the needs of others to carry out their functions.
Under the regulations councils will, from December 2002, have two electoral registers - a full register which will be used for electoral, crime prevention, and other limited purposes such as checking people's applications for credit, and an edited register which can be sold to anyone. Electors can choose whether they want their names and addresses to appear on the edited register.
William Mason, executive director of the BBA, says: "We welcome the draft regulation which will allow banks to have access to the electoral register for money laundering and fraud checks and are pleased that the government has also recognised the public interest benefits of access for the purpose of vetting applications for credit."