ECONOMY

Banks may get full access to taxpayer data

Banks are looking at having full access to citizens’ tax information as plans are being made to allow them to draw information from the Finance Ministry’s Taxis database on tax declarations and from the ministry’s registers. This process will be implemented via the “Teiresias” interbank system, which is already connected online to all of the country’s lenders.

A number of sources say that talks between the ministry and the Hellenic Bank Association are at an advanced stage. The Development Ministry is also involved, as the online tapping of tax data by banks will form part of a bill for the settlement of debts from so-called bad loans.

That bill, which concerns nonperforming corporate loans, will allow banks to take into account debts to social security funds and the tax authorities, further increasing their need to access tax data. A similar issue is also expected to emerge over efforts to contain the bad debts created by households.

Banks will also have to obtain tax data from their clients in order to perform inspections mandated by the Bank of Greece according to legislation for cracking down on money laundering.