Banks will urge Privacy Commissioner Stephen Lau Ka-men to reconsider his proposal to ban them keeping photocopies of customers' identity cards. The Hong Kong Association of Banks is preparing a submission, arguing the case for maintaining the existing practice. A six-week consultation period has been allowed for feedback from industry and the public after last month's announcement of the privacy code. The code aims to tackle the indiscriminate collection of identity card numbers. It proposes that card numbers would be confidential and anyone photocopying customers' cards faces a $50,000 fine or two years' jail. Hong Kong Association of Banks Secretary Guy Priestley said banks were concerned they would be prevented from keeping the photocopies. 'Most banks keep on file photocopies of ID cards as an internal check and proof that someone has seen the cards,' he said. 'Also the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Hong Kong Monetary Authority [in combating money laundering] require banks to keep a good auditing trail and record.' Police said yesterday a spate of recent fraud cases showed photocopies were no guarantee of identity. In some cases, finance companies had not checked loan applicants' identities thoroughly and the photocopies were of forged cards. Assistant District Commander of Crime for Central, Superintendent Donald Logan, said : 'These companies are lending millions of dollars. If they're not satisfied with the identity of someone, they shouldn't lend the money.' He also urged landlords to be careful about the information they supplied to would-be tenants. He said some were too willing to hand over copies of identity cards, and mortgage and bank-account statements when renting out property. The copies helped fraudsters re-mortgage the properties.