By Taonga Sabola:
One of the country’s commercial banks, FDH Bank, on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) which seeks to foster collaboration on issues of customer identification for the bank.
The MoU comes after the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), in 2018, issued a directive that the National ID should be the primary identification tool for opening of new bank accounts of Malawian nationals by banks.
The central bank also requested banks to verify the authenticity of the Customer’s National ID Cards with the NRB after updating the Know Your Customer (KYC) information.
In this regard, the NRB has been having consultative meetings with the Bankers Association of Malawi (Bam) as well as individual banks to operationalise this directive.
NRB Chief Director, Harry Kanjewe, said the MoU will go a long way in fostering credible, authentic and legal identification of the bank’s clientele in all its branches across the country.
“I am very much confident that the signing of this MoU will assist FDH Bank to improve verification of customer’s details, fraud management, account linkages, credit rating and reduction of money laundering practices through the harmonisation of the KYC database and the use of the National ID Card.
“Above all, the public at large stand to benefit and this shall go a long way in addressing the financial inclusion agenda which the Government of Malawi is advocating and pursuing,” Kanjewe said.
He commended FDH Bank for being the first bank to come forward and sign the MoU with NRB.
“You have made a bold step and we, as NRB, believe you have set the pace of identification business in the banking sector. We, therefore, expect more banks to follow suit in the near future,” Kanjewe said.
Currently, number of Malawians with bank accounts stands at slightly above 2 million though NRB has registered over 10 million Malawians above the age of 16 years.
FDH Bank Managing Director, Eric Ouattara, said the MoU would help as many Malawians as possible to open bank accounts.
Ouattara said, with the coming of the national ID system, it was easier for commercial banks to know their customers than before.