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In an effort to cut off money for terrorist organizations, the Financial Services Agency plans to check the identity of people transferring even relatively small amounts of money to other people’s accounts, FSA officials said Saturday.

The agency plans to lower the amount on money transfers at which banks are required to confirm the sender’s identification to between 100,000 yen and 150,000 yen per transaction from the current 2 million yen. The FSA wants to introduce the new rule around December 2006, the officials said.

The move follows a basic agreement reached by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force in June under which member economies will require banks to confirm a sender’s identification when the amount of money is $1,000, 1,000 euro or more.

The sender’s identification is to be confirmed using a driver’s license or passport.

The new rule will be applied when a person transfers money in cash to domestic or overseas accounts at a bank at which he or she does not have an account. It is applied to transactions at teller windows or through automated teller machines.

The rule will exclude senders with accounts at the bank, because their identities have already been confirmed, the officials said.

But financial analysts say many hurdles need to be cleared before implementing the measure. One is how to confirm the identification when the sender uses an ATM.

They point out that the requirement could cause public confusion in Japan where people tend to use cash more than checks and credit cards, compared with the United States and European countries, and small-business owners could particularly be affected.

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