- Category: Business News
- Written by Christopher Jimu
Commercial banks in Malawi will continue asking for customers’ details to comply with the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Serious Crime Act, the Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM) has said.
Money laundering is the process of concealing the source of money obtained by illicit means, and the methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication.
A recent statement from BAM says the Money Laundering Act, which was enacted a few years ago, obliges banks to keep comprehensive details of their customers.
The details requested, according to BAM, include physical and postal addresses, customer registration certificate in the case of business entities as well as utility bills as proof of residence.
“Customers will be requested to draw a map to their physical location, telephone/cellphone numbers and they will also be requested to produce passport, drivers’ licence or other plausible identity in their circumstances,” reads the statement in part.
Meanwhile, banks have described the move as timely as it will work in the interest of the customers.
National Bank of Malawi corporate affairs manager Annie Magola said as a bank, they started the process a couple of weeks ago and notices have been put up in all banks reminding customers to bring their details to update the database.
“The response has been very good and customers are cooperating. The only problem we have is that customers are trickling in slowly, but by end March which is the deadline month, we hope all customers would have complied,” said Magola.
FMB head of marketing Sylvia Nankwenya said it is a requirement from the regulators that banks must update customers’ contact details because they can be easily traced if anything happens.
“We are updating our customers’ details every time they come to transact because we do a lot of promotions and if the details are not updated, it might be difficult to contact them in case they have won prizes,” she said.
Malawi has 13 commercial banks.