Criteria for opening bank accounts reduced

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The Bank of Guyana has announced said that it has simplified the requirements needed for opening and maintenance of customer accounts at Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs).

According to the the Central Bank, it is currently in the process of modifying a previously issued guidance in its Supervision Guideline No. 13 on Know Your Customers (KYC) – ID card verification, face verification, document verification), and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements for the opening and maintenance of customer accounts at financial Institutions.

The amended guidance, the Bank noted, is intended to specify simplified due diligence measures for customers who are categorized as low-risk.

“These simplified measures would include the acceptance of one form of identification document, either national identification card, passport, or a driver’s licence.

“In instances where the identity document contains the details of a customers’ address, such document may also be acceptable for proof of address and there will be no requirement for annual submission of these documents to the LFIs,” the Bank said in a statement.

In addition, it added that the requirements for medium and high-risk customers will also be revisited with a view of enhancing the risk-rating framework for these categories.

“These measures which will confirm to the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations are intended to reduce the burden on individuals who had previously faced challenges in securing the requisite documentary requirements for the opening and operating of accounts at LFIs.”

Further, the Bank noted that it has always strived to foster greater financial inclusion as is evident by these and other measures including the issuance of Circular No. 53/2018 which provided for reduced due diligence measures for small savers “which are natural persons with monthly deposits up to $500,000”.