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Europe to warn consumers about .bank “risks”

Kevin Murphy, February 23, 2012, 18:17:53 (UTC), Domain Policy

The European Banking Authority has told ICANN it believes that proposed financially-oriented gTLDs such as .bank are dangerous and should be banned.

The EBA, the European Union’s central banking regulator, said it plans to issue consumer alerts, warning people about “the risks of these new naming conventions”.

In a letter to ICANN published today, EBA chair Andrea Enria said that a global gTLD such as “.bank” would not give consumers a good guide as to whether the bank was regulated in their own country.

Financial gTLDs have a “not-yet-identified benefit” and could create a “moral hazard”, Enria wrote. The EBA is also worried about the cost of trademark enforcement, he said.

the EBA believes that it is not feasible to address most of the supervisory concerns of its members on the risks of misuse of the proposed gTLDs and calls the ICANN to reconsider its plans for allowing the such of the above mentioned gTLDs and ban the establishment of such gTLDs altogether.

The EBA was formed just over a year ago as the successor to the Committee of European Banking Supervisors. Its members are the heads of the financial regulators of the EU member states.

The letter could come as a blow to the American-led .bank application proposed by the American Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable’s BITS division.

The BITS project envisages a tightly controlled namespace for banks, governed by a fairly strenuous set of security measures.

But the establishment of a .bank gTLD is one area where we are almost guaranteed to see ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee exercising its new-found objection powers.

If the Europeans and the Americans do not see eye to eye, .bank will not see the light of day.

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Comments (3)

  1. Garry says:

    They’re worried someone besides them will be able to steal from us. That’s gonna eat up what little profits they have left. Bless ’em Lord.

  2. Jean Guillon says:

    .FIN ?

    Ha, ha…

    🙂

  3. I find the charge of “misuse” a little odd, since the public applications I’ve seen evidence of will require registrants to provide proof that they are a valid financial institution, and involve security measures. I personally would love to know that if I was on a .bank site, it belonged to a financial institution.

    .Com is the domain far more prone to misuse in terms of phishing…

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