The Co-operative Bank has partnered with identity management firm GB Group to supply anti-fraud technologies to local authorities and other public sector organisations.

The main technology to be rolled out will be GB’s identity verification solution URU, which local authorities can use to verify citizens’ IDs. The solution uses GB’s ID3 technology to match information input through URU against independent data sources, including address records, birth and death registers and financial information.

According to the Co-operative Bank, part of the Co-operative Group, the technology will help to tackle local issues such as benefit, recruitment and housing tenancy fraud. Meanwhile, estimates from the Audit Commission’s ‘Protecting the Public Purse’ report in 2009, housing and council tax benefit fraud has resulted in more than £200 million being overpaid by local authorities in England.

Ian Smith, senior manager in the Co-operative Bank’s public sector banking division, said: “We wanted to be able to provide local authorities with a range of Identity Management solutions which have the potential not only to save councils many thousands of pounds, but also valuable time, making sense on a business level, as well as a practical level.”

In 2009, the number of victims of ID fraud in the UK rose by a third compared to the previous year, according to the CIFAS. Research by the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service also showed that ID theft is costing the UK £1.2 billion a year.