BoT extends deadline for bank customer verification

Prof Ndulu, BoT Governor
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has extended the deadline for bank customers to update their particulars for a period of one year starting from today to March 14, 2013. 

Following this new development, all banks and financial institutions have been informed and asked to comply as the initial deadline issued last year was expected to end on Wednesday. 

A statement issued by BoT's Public Relations and Protocol Department noted that the extension followed consultations with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

"The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Mustafa Mkulo, granted a one-year moratorium (March 15, 2011 to March 14, 2012) for banks to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2007 to enable them to regularize/update all accounts opened prior to the coming into force of the Anti-Money Laundering Act," reads the statement.

A customer withdrawing money from ATM
The extension comes amidst confusion and inconveniences as thousands of customers yesterday rushed to submit their particulars to beat the deadline.

The 'Daily News' yesterday witnessed customers in some major banks scrambling for forms which became scarce and had to be photocopied.

Long queues formed in  and outside bank branches as customers waited to update their accounts. 

Some banks had complicated requirements such as letters of employers, letters of local area leaders, bills of utility companies and three sureties.

In Wednesday's statement, BoT urged members of the public to comply with the requirement in order to avoid the consequences that might result from failure to adhere to the directive. 

According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), banks were directed to update information of their customers as early as March, last year.

However, many of them  only started the exercise last month. Following the enactment by the Government of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2006 and regulations made there under and issuance of a public notice by the BoT in September 2011, it is a statutory obligation for the banks to obtain and maintain records and detailed particulars of their customers.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz
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