Banks seek govt records

Australia's banks want to be able to cross-check accounts and double-check customer details by gaining access to government files such as Medicare and passport records. The initiative is one part of a deal being worked out between the banks and the Federal Government to counter fraud.

Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the arrangements would back up the 100-point identification test currently used when people want to open bank accounts. Other options are also being considered, such as the online verification of documents.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the government's financial monitoring agency, has indicated it supports the move for banks to be able to access government records such as Medicare.