Ul­ti­ma­tum for bank ac­count hold­ers

. . . given un­til 30 Septem­ber to up­date de­tails

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

CLIENTS of lo­cal banks have un­til 30 Septem­ber 2016 to up­date their per­sonal de­tails with the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions or risk hav­ing their ac­counts frozen.

This was said by Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion of Le­sotho (BAL) Chair­per­son Mpho Vum­bukani this week dur­ing a press brief­ing held in Maseru. He said the new re­quire­ments were a le­gal re­quire­ment and meant to counter money laun­der­ing and fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism.

Mr Vum­bukani said banks un­der BAL’S am­bit would re­quire their cus­tomers to pro­vide per­sonal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, proof of res­i­dence and sources of in­come. The as­so­ci­a­tion con­sists of Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank, Ned­bank, First Na­tional Bank and Post Bank.

He said the drive was launched last Oc­to­ber un­der the “Know Your Cus­tomer” cam­paign, adding that the com­pli­ance lev­els from clients had been very low.

“You will re­call that around Oc­to­ber 2015, all the banks sent out com­mu­ni­ca­tion to all our cus­tomers re­quest­ing them to up­date their per­sonal records at their re­spec­tive banks,” said Mr Vum­bukani.

“This re­quest em­anates from the le­gal and reg­u­la­tory in­stru­ments that con­trol bank­ing in the coun­try as pred­i­cated by the Cen­tral Bank of Le­sotho.

“This clar­ion call was heeded by many, but not by all our cus­tomers who hold bank ac­counts with our dif­fer­ent banks. We have con­tin­ued to send no­ti­fi­ca­tions over the last few months, but it seems like we are fail­ing to get the mes­sage across as we note that com­pli­ance lev­els are very low.”

He said fail­ure by the banks’ cus­tomers to com­ply be­fore 30 Septem­ber would re­sult in their ac­counts be­ing frozen.

“We have ex­tended the sub­mis­sions for the next three months after which, we will be left with no op­tion but to freeze ac­counts whose de­tails will not have been up­dated by this date.”

Mr Vum­bukani stressed that banks had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­vent money laun­der­ing and other fi­nan­cial crimes.

“The rea­son why ‘Know Your Cus­tomer’ is a le­gal re­quire­ment is be­cause gov­ern­ments have to put this re­quire­ment as a con­trol and mon­i­tor­ing in­stru­ment to­wards com­bat­ing money laun­der­ing and fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism, both of which are a global con­cern,” he said.

“Even if ter­ror­ism may not be a prob­lem for us yet, the is­sue is that Le­sotho has to be on par with other na­tions. This is so that we do not be­come a launch­pad for in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism and money laun­der­ing, which ex­plains why our gov­ern­ment has rat­i­fied in­ter­na­tion- al con­ven­tions that com­bat mbat these eco­nomic crimes, and there­fore, the­seese laws are bind­ing for us as banks and the coun­ty­ounty at large.”

Hold­ers of in­di­vid­ual ac­counts ccounts are re­quested to sub­mit valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion­tif­i­ca­tion doc­u­ments such as pass­port, na­tion­alal iden­tity card, and driver’s li­cense.

They also have to provide­v­ide proof of res­i­dence in the form of a bill not more than three months old, a let­terer from an au­tho­rised pub­lic author­ity suchh as an area chief and a lease doc­u­ment. This his is in ad­di­tion to proof of in­come such ass a pay slip.

Com­pany ac­count hold­er­s­ders would need to sub­mit a cer­tifi­cate of f in­cor­po­ra­tion, trader’s li­cense, tax clear­ance arance cer­tifi­cate and proof of res­i­dence e such as util­ity bill that is less than three months old. They are also re­quired ed to pro­vide valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and proof of res­i­dence doc­u­ments of thee com­pany’s di­rec­tors and peo­ple au­tho­rise­dutho­rised to trans­act on be­half of the com­pany.

Other or­gan­i­sa­tions suchuch as so­ci­eties, schools and clubs among­mong oth­ers are obli ob­li­gated to pro­vide their con­sti­tu­tion of found­ing doc­u­ments, proof of res­i­dence such as a util­ity bill from the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Com­pany or Le­sotho Elec­tric­ity Com­pany that is not more than three months old, source of in­come such as mem­ber­ship sub­scrip­tions, and valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and proof of res­i­dence doc­u­ments for each per­son au­tho­rised to act on be­half of the en­tity.

BAL Chair­per­son Mpho Vum­bukani.

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