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Reserve Bank of Malawi protects bank users with expired IDs

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Lyness Nkunguula

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has instructed all financial institutions not to restrict customers’ accounts after expiry of their national identification cards (IDs).

This follows complaints by people that some financial institutions were suspending accounts of individuals whose national identity cards expired.

A statement signed by RBM Deputy Governor responsible for Economics and Regulation Grant Kabango states that the central bank expects financial institutions to keep track of such accounts and have a proper plan in place to update them once the Covid pandemic situation improves.

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“In the meantime, financial institutions are urged to accept secondary identification documents as provided for under Government Gazette Notice number 67 on the Official Identification Documents,” the statement reads.

Bankers Association of Malawi Chief Executive Officer Lynes Nkungula said there were isolated cases where banks froze accounts based on expiry of National IDs.

She has since assured the public that they will be served accordingly and that no account shall be frozen based on expired national ID.

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“The banks will continue serving customers provided they keep track of the accounts and might have to put in place a proper plan to clear the backlog when the situation improves as a lot of customers have their IDs expired at the same time,” she said.

Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito has applauded the central bank for the directive.

Since introduction of the national IDs, it has become a primary document for many transactions but it expires after a certain period.

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