National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc has extended its Know-Your-Customer (KYC) exercise to August 31 to give customers more time to update their information.
NBM started the exercise mid-June and was scheduled to end on Monday, July 10, which caused panic among customers resulting in congestion in banking halls in almost all the service centers, fearing their accounts could be blocked.
But speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, NBM Chief Risk Officer, Charles Ulaya said the process is a requirement because customers are dynamic in that their sources of income, addresses and other things captured within KYC may change periodically.
“Customers do not necessarily need to come to service centres as they can submit through emails in their respective service centres. The exercise is a requirement of our Anti Money Laundering (AML) Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) policy as well as the Financial Crimes Act which requires customers to update their information periodically. NBM policy requires high-risk customers to update KYC data every one year, two years for moderate-risk customers and low-risk customers every three years,” he said.
Ulaya also said customers residing abroad or unable to visit the service centres in person, have to update their information online, while those whose details have not changed in the past three years need not to go to the Bank and update their KYC information.
“For customers with expired National IDs but no other alternative cards/ NRB replacement forms, they can still bring their expired National IDs together with the NRB updated form which has an attached QR CODE. For students that are not working, but transact above the minimum, they need to bring a scholarship letter, a letter from a sponsor or where they self- finance, an explanation on the same.”
“Students should also update their KYC information. Most are rated low risk. However, for those that engage in transfers beyond the minimum threshold they need to provide proof of source of funds. For customers that are doing small scale business, they can detail on the form the nature of the business they are undertaking,” he explained.
The news to extend the deadline has been welcomed by customers who earlier expressed their discomfort on the bank’s Facebook page.
“Thanks for the development,” reads a comment by Emmanuel Dillon.
The KYC exercise is expected to be carried out after three years, in accordance with the Financial Crimes Act 2023.