New Era (Windhoek)

3 May 2013

Namibia: Standard Bank Steps Up Money-Laundering Fight

Windhoek — In an effort to combat money laundering, based on the Namibian Financial Intelligence Act (FIA), Standard Bank Namibia is encouraging its clients to contact their nearest branch in order to ensure that their personal documentation is up to date.

Money laundering is described as the process by which criminals conceal the true origin and ownership of the proceeds of their criminal activities by making it appear as though the proceeds were obtained legitimately. In terms of the FIA, which was enacted on December 21, 2012, all financial institutions are required to have certain documentation on record to ensure that they know their customers.

Standard Bank Namibia's Head of Business Optimization Agnesia Mara Booysen says the Know Your Customer (KYC) drive is part of the Bank of Namibia's deadline for all banks to ensure that the relevant identification details and documents of their customers are verified by the deadline of October 05, 2013. The law prohibits banks from transacting with a client if he or she has not been properly verified.

"Therefore we have been taking steps to ensure that all clients are KYC'ed before the deadline given by the Bank of Namibia. Avoid the freezing of your bank account by becoming KYC compliant," said Booysen. To this effect Standard Bank Namibia has been sending KYC notifications to its customers at its ATMs, through letters, posters, emails and SMSes.

"Rather contact your bank to make sure that you are KYC compliant, even if it is only an enquiry through a telephone call." The objective is to update all relevant information and documentation from clients, according to Booysen.

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