New proposals 'could allow banks to view savings accounts records'

New proposals could allow banks to view people’s savings accounts and other financial information when they open a new account, reports suggest.

According to a piece in the Daily Herald, through potential changes to the Privacy Act, institutions and lenders will be able to use the information to assess the ability to make repayments on products such as low interest home loans.

Russell Evans, representative of Veda Advantage, a credit information agency, told the news provider the discussions have only covered the payment cycle so far.

"That generally means one month – so if you have not paid your bill by the time the next billing period starts, the suggestions are that it will then be lodged as a missed payment, but it has yet to be set in stone," he commented.

Government officials said the move would be in consumers’ best interests, as at the moment, only negative information is provided, the publication noted.

The National Australia Bank announced this week that it would abolish charges on some of its savings accounts.

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