Bank of Kigali explains why clients are required to update account details

Clients of Bank of Kigali who will not have updated their personal information and details by May 15 will not be able to access their accounts or make transactions. / Courtesy

Clients of Bank of Kigali who will not have updated their personal information and details by May 15, will not be able to access their accounts or make transactions, the bank has said.

According to the lender, the request to clients to provide updated information and details is part of the requirement of opening an account in any financial institution in Rwanda and all over the world. This will allow the bank to know the client they are dealing with.

Aimable Malaala, the head of compliance at Bank of Kigali, said that among the benefits to clients following the exercise will be that the bank will be in position to protect clients from fraud as well as improve delivery of services.

“Once your full identity is clear, it will help the bank to protect the client against all types of fraud, including identity fraud. It will help the client to access digital channels that the bank is rolling out which improves customer experience,” he said.

From the bank’s perspective, the updated information will go a long way in improving the quality of services to individuals, knowing clients’ risks how to handle it in terms of financial crimes.

“Providing updated information also allows the bank to comply with laws and regulations in Rwanda and with international best practices in place which require financial institutions to have customer data updated on regular basis,” he added.

The development comes at a time when banks across the world have severally been said to have been unknowingly used in money laundering schemes as well as financing illegal operations. It is expected that, with more customer information, banks will be able to easily detect suspicious transactions such as funding for terror operations, money laundering among others.

Among ways that clients can provide the information to the bank ahead of the deadline is visiting their nearest branch, and filling in and submitting forms which will allow the bank to do verification of the documents to avoid any form of fraud. 

“We are looking at ways of doing it digitally, however the bank is still assessing the risks involved and will advise accordingly. There is no cost involved in updating the information for clients,” Malaala added.

The bank says that clients, who will not have complied risk being unable to transact after May 15.

“The risk for not complying are serious because any account with incomplete Know Your Customer details shall not be allowed to transact come May 15, 2019,” he added.

The directive had led to concerns of safety and security by a section of customers of their data but the bank allayed fears saying that any information  shared by the client to the bank shall be fully  protected  and safe as per by national laws and by  bank policies.

“The safety of the personal information of our clients is our top priority and any information shared by the client to the bank shall be fully protected  and safe as per by national laws. The bank has a duty of confidentiality and staff are fully trained on this aspect,” he added.

The bank is one of four subsidiaries of BK Group, which recorded an after tax profit of Rwf27.4billion (about $30.7 million) in 2018, representing a 17 per cent growth from the previous year.

In 2017, the group recorded a net profit of Rwf23.3 billion and Rwf20.8 billion in profit after tax in 2016.