16 Jul 2016

Banks give reassurances over driver licence ID

7:24 pm on 16 July 2016

The banking industry is giving assurances about identification risks from bogus driver licences, saying it takes steps to safeguard its systems.

someone filling in a deposit slip in a bank

Photo: 123RF

Driver licences are widely used to prove identity when setting up bank accounts and carrying out other financial transactions, but their reliability has been questioned after an alleged fraud by an AA employee in Auckland in March.

Since then, the New Zealand Transport Agency has revoked 49 driver licences and a similar number of suspect documents are currently being processed.

In addition, a report by auditors KPMG has found deficiencies in the way licences are issued, especially when converted from licences originally granted overseas.

Commenting on this, Bankers Association chief executive Karen Scott Howman said banks had been aware of the concerns with this form of ID.

"Driver licences are currently one source of identification accepted by banks," she said.

"Banks will always undertake additional checks if they have any concerns with the authenticity or verification of an individual's identification."

Those additional checks could include account statements from other banks or EFTPOS cards.

Ms Scott Howman said banks already had obligations to assure themselves about customers' identities under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009.

"They have processes and systems in place to verify identification and conduct due diligence on their customers, and these are constantly reviewed to help ensure their obligations are met."

Licences for both truck and car drivers were included in NZTA's suspension of the 49 documents.

The agency said its systems were already being improved when the review got under way.

It said more than 3 million people had driver licences and so the system had to be accessible, affordable and trusted.

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