The central bank has relaxed some of stringent customer identification requirements to facilitate urgent financial transactions during the ongoing lockdown period set in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its policy-making Monetary Board has eased the requirement for the presentation of valid identification document to financial institutions for new customers as well as for existing clients during the enhanced community quarantine period.

The relaxed rules on so-called “know-your-customer” requirements will be in place until June 30, 2020, “to facilitate the delivery of welfare funds to identified beneficiaries who have no available valid IDs or transactional account with any financial institution.”

The central bank said it decided to relax these requirements since the accounts involved are considered as low risk.

At the same time, the regulator introduced control measures to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing risks. These included limiting transactions per account to not more than P50,000 per day and limiting the application of the relaxed rules only to bank clients who live or do business in areas under quarantine. The enhanced quarantine covers the entire island of Luzon.

Clients who would benefit from the relaxed ID requirements, however, would be required to certify lack of IDs and agree to have their accounts monitored during the quarantine period.

“Financial institutions are expected to obtain the required minimum information from the customer and perform risk-based customer due diligence,” the central bank said.

“The relaxed KYC (know your customer) requirements apply to both over the counter and electronic or online transactions,” according to the regulator’s statement.

“This is part of the BSP’s initiatives to ensure that Filipinos have continuous access to basic government and financial services amid the COVID-19 situation.”

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) on Thursday (April 2) said it has been in close coordination with regulators to ensure the quick turnaround of implementing rules and regulations of the law granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to deal with the pandemic.

“As the backbone of the Philippine financial system and economy, we are one with the national government to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation during this time of public health crisis,” the BAP said in a statement.

The umbrella organization of the country’s largest financial institutions said it trusts that the provisions of the law’s implementing rules “are meant to protect the collective interests of our stakeholders.”

“The banking industry and individual banks respect the IRR and will follow the law and its implementing rules in order to achieve its objectives,” the group said.

“Likewise, we welcome all the regulatory relief measures extended by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in order for banks to support the needs and requirements of the national government, businesses and the banking public,” BAP said.

Edited by TSB


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