BoT extends customer verification time

The  Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has given yet another chance to bank customers to update their personal particulars for another six months starting from March 16 to September 15 this year.

This is the third time the extension is granted following the first deadline in March last year, and another one-year extension which ended last Friday.

A statement issued by BoT noted that the extension followed consultations with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and was ultimately granted by the minister, Dr William Mgimwa.

"This is to inform the general public that the Minister for Finance has extended the deadline for updating/regularizing all customer accounts in banking institutions, as required under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, GN No 289.

"The extension covers a period of six months beginning March 16, 2013 to September 15,2013," noted the BoT statement on Monday. 

BoT also noted that customers of banking institutions are urged to utilize this extended period to furnish their banker with the required information in order to avoid inconveniences that may arise for not updating/regularizing their accounts before that date.

The extension came as a relief to hundreds of customers who are reportedly yet to heed the call to update their particulars. The 'Daily News' on Monday 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. Reacting to the news of the second extension, University of Dar es Salaam economist Dr Lenny Kasoga said the BoT directive requiring banks to update the particulars of their customers should also make it easier for those outside the country to send their information to their banks.

"The decision is well-intentioned, but there should be no assumption that all people operating bank accounts are actually in the country," he said. He said he would have expected BoT to allow banks to compile customer particulars online since not all of them are necessarily in Tanzania.

He praised the extension noting that even those who are not in Tanzania can conveniently forward their particulars to their banks. Some banks had complicated requirements such as letters of employers, letters of local area leaders, bills of utility companies and three sureties.

But according to some customers, the requirements have been reduced to voters' cards and passports for some banks. "The exercise is now easier and quicker as compared to the first announcements last year," said Mcharo Dennis, a customer at CRDB.

In Monday'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.
Source: The Daily News, www.dailynews.co.tz,reported by Abduel Elinaza in Dar es Salaam
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