Thursday, July 08, 2010

EU-US Agree to Share Citizens Bank Data

Just a few weeks after a deal was finalized with the Swiss to provide information about clients from UBS, President Obama is taking the next step in his commitment to crack down on offshore tax evasion. On Thursday he announced a deal between the United States and the European Union to share banking data.

"The threat of terrorism faced by the United States and the European Union continues and, with this agreement, all of our citizens will be safer," Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

"This new, legally binding agreement reflects significant additional data privacy safeguards but still retains the effectiveness and integrity of this indispensable counter-terrorism program," he said.

European MPs earlier Thursday voted 484-109 for a new five-year deal to allow the United States to again have access to banking information from August 1.

The Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme had allowed US access to information from the interbank money transfer system SWIFT, which is based in Brussels, but EU lawmakers' main concern was how personal information would be used by US authorities.

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