Bank Customer Details Being Sent Overseas

The Federal Government is being urged to stop the big banks from sending customers personal details to offshore processing centres.

The Courier Mail has reported that a national poll has found that 83 per cent want the banks to seek written permission from their customers before sending confidential data to overseas.

Several smaller finance houses and at least two of the big four banks are using overseas centres to process customer information, including credit cards and home mortgages.

To make matters even worse there are fears that the practice will become even more widespread as the banking sector sheds local jobs and cuts their operating costs.

The Government has been asked by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon to consider making amendments to consumer protection legislation. The amendments would force banks to obtain written permission from customers before sending addresses, passport numbers and other key information to offshore centres.

Australians should have control as to who has access to their personal information.

Why should banks be allowed to jeopardize the privacy of millions of Australians so that they can save a few dollars?

According to Finance Sector Union national secretary Leon Carter all four big banks have foreshadowed outsourcing back office operations but that National Australia Bank and ANZ were the worst of the big banks.

Westpac has stated that they will not send data overseas until the global financial crisis is over, while CBA has stated that they will wait three years before sending jobs offshore.

The banks have insisted that customer protection was being properly observed.

The ABA is confident that banks will take appropriate measures to protect customer information whether processing is done here in Australia or offshore.

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Published on October 10-th, 2009 in Home Loans
Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.
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