From the Regulators

Proposed guide intended to help banks fulfill their obligations for complying with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards

By James Langton |

Global banking regulators have proposed a new guide designed to ensure that banks are complying with their anti-money laundering (AML) obligations when opening new accounts.

A revised version of the General guide to account opening, which aims to help banks ensure they are complying with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, was published for comment on Thursday by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

"Most bank-customer relationships start with an account opening procedure. The customer information collected and verified at this stage is crucial in order for the bank to fulfill its obligations under anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism rules," the Basel Committee says in a statement. And, it stresses banks' policies and procedures for account opening must fully reflect AML legislation.

"The proposed guide is in no way intended to strengthen, weaken or otherwise modify the existing Financial Action Task Force standards," the committee says. "Rather, it aims to support banks in implementing the FATF standards and guidance, which requires the adoption of specific policies and procedures, in particular on account opening."

The proposed guide is out for comment until Oct. 22.