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EU to tighten tracing of payments in battle against terrorism

European Union governments gave anti-terrorism investigators greater powers to trace bank payments, seeking to dry up financing for terror groups.

EU finance ministers today endorsed recommendations by the Group of Seven's Financial Action Task Force to require banks to more closely check the identity of clients and track payments through the system. The aim is the „prevention, investigation and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing,” the 25-nation EU said in a statement in Brussels. Probes of bank transfers have drawn criticism from European privacy advocates after revelations this year that Swift, a global bank-transfer service, handed over financial data to US authorities. (Bloomberg)