The Bangladesh Bank on Sunday asked all banks to follow new and simplified forms modified on recommendations of a government committee for opening bank accounts.
The BB in a notification instructed the banks to introduce the simplified forms — know-your-customer (KYC) and account opening forms — by June 30.
BB officials said that the banks had to replace the existing account opening forms, which, according to the government committee, were burdened with information.
The forms were updated to make account opening more customer-friendly in accordance with the evolvement of information technology, improvement of financial infrastructure and to facilitate faster information flow with the assistance of technology, the BB circular said.
Apart from the requirements of the simplified forms, the banks have been allowed to seek additional information from customers if they deem it necessary.
The committee headed by Financial Institutions Division additional secretary ABM Ruhul Azad had asked the BB to simplify the forms and its sizes.
FID deputy secretary Jehad Uddin was the member secretary of the committee.
On August 22 last year, the Cabinet Division asked the Financial Institutions Division to take steps for simplifying the forms as a large section of people still remain unbanked due to complexities in completing the current account opening process.
Quoting BB sources, FID officials said that 80 per cent of people in the country had no access to formal banking services with only 5 per cent of rural and 40 per cent of urban people holding bank accounts.
Ruhul Azad said they were happy as the BB finally gave the directive to the banks.
Although the FID wanted immediate implementation of the directive, it accepted the BB’s logic that banks would have technical problems to replace the current forms due to their stocks.
According to the BB, the number of deposit accounts as of March 31, 2019 stood at 9.83 crore, 31 lakh higher than the figure of 9.52 crore on December 21, 2018.
The number of advance accounts was recorded at 1 crore on March 31, 2019.
Despite a notable expansion of financial services in recent years, a World Bank study on ‘The Global Findex Database’ in 2018 found that half of Bangladeshis aged 15 or above had remained without a bank or mobile money accounts.
The WB study also found that the insufficient fund was the most commonly cited reason for not owning a bank account.
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