Opening a bank account now easier than ever
The central bank yesterday simplified the account opening form of banks as part of the government's efforts to get people to come under the formal financial umbrella.
Now, customers will have to fill only a two-page form instead of the previous six-page one to open an account, according to a Bangladesh Bank notice to lenders.
People with a valid national identity card (NID) will not need any introducer to open an account. However, an introducer would be a must for those who do not have an NID.
Customers will also not need to mention their other banks' account related information in the new form, which was drafted by a government-formed committee comprising of officials of the finance ministry, the central bank and banks.
The new form will also not ask the professional identity of the accountholders as the NID database is equipped with such information.
The election commission has allowed banks to access to its NID database to enable them to cross-check customer details while opening account or settling any financial transaction.
And there is no need to include any emergency contact of the accountholders in the form now. Banks can communicate with the nominees in case of any emergency, said a BB official.
The banking watchdog has also changed the transaction profile part of the form.
Banks earlier fixed the transaction profile as per the declaration given by the customers. Now, they will observe the customers' transaction profile for six months and form a decision.
The BB has uploaded three samples of account opening form on its website, which will cover person, institution and government, semi-government and autonomous entities.
It has also provided samples of fixed deposit scheme, savings and special schemes.
The banking regulator introduced a uniform account opening form for all banks in 2017. But this time it has revised the form to streamline the process.
This will leave a positive impact on the banking sector as a whole as customers will now be able to easily fill up their account opening forms, said Md Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia.
As per the draft of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, the government has taken a plan to ensure all matured people start using bank accounts within 2024.
The latest initiative will help materialise the decision, he said.
The BB simplified the Know Your Customer form a couple of weeks ago, which is another good step to bolster the financial inclusion agenda taken up by both the central bank and the government.