Bank of Guyana softening identification requirements for bank accounts

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2020, 19:02 by Denis Chabrol

The Bank of Guyana.

The Bank of Guyana on Tuesday announced that it is takings steps to relax the identification and home address requirements by commercial banks and other licenced financial institutions for persons to open and maintain accounts.

“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 (Licenced Financial Institutions),” the Central Bank said.

The Central Bank said it was “modifying” previously issued guidance in its supervision guideline on Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) for the opening and maintenance of customer accounts. “The amended guidance is intended to specify simplified due diligence measures for customers who are categorized as low-risk,” the Bank of Guyana said.

According to the Central Bank, which is the supervisory authority for licenced financial institutions,  the simplified measures would include the acceptance of one form of identification document, either national identification card, passport, or a driver’s licence.  Further, the Central Bank said 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 of Guyana added that the requirements for medium and high-risk customers would also be revisited to strengthen the risk-rating framework for these categories.

In 2018, the Centra Bank had issued a circular that provides for reduced due due diligence measures for small savers “which are natural persons with monthly deposits up to $500,000”.