Ultimatum for bank account holders
. . . given until 30 September to update details
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.