- Did you know that if your bank statements are being posted to an address that is no longer your residence, then your bank accounts could be frozen?
- Did you know that it is actually your responsibility to update your personal information continually with your bank(s), else you too could have your accounts frozen?
What is KYC, and why is my bank asking me questions relating to it?
Banks are compelled, under law(!!), to have the correct customer information on record. ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) documents include, among others, identity documents and a recent, up-to-date proof of address. If they don’t have the required information, and if you don’t provide them with the required information, they can freeze your accounts.
Even though banks need to get a formal intervention order before being able to freeze your accounts, the risk to the banks of not following through with this call-to-action is severe:
- In April 2014 the SA Reserve Bank fined SA’s ‘big 4 banks’ (ABSA, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank) a collective total of R125 million
- In August 2016 the SA Reserve Bank fined GBS Mutual Bank, Habib Overseas Bank Limited, Investec Bank Limited, The South African Bank of Athens Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Jhb) a total of R30 million
In each of these instances, there are strict remediation plans and timelines in place, which need to be adhered to in order to avoid further fines. This simply means that the banks are going all-out to fix the current positions!
As a consumer, your bank will only ever freeze your accounts when it has undeniable proof that it tried to contact you via the contact details you have provided to them. If your details are outdated (you may have changed jobs, moved house, changed your mobile number, got married…?), then you really should be giving your bank a call!
We may still face instances where the banks will erroneously freeze accounts, but if this happens to you, you really need to be 100% certain that you aren’t guilty of withholding updated personal information.
Is this just more spam?
It may look like spam, and there are some interesting articles about your rights as a consumer to address spam here, BUT do you really want to ignore these messages and risk having your accounts frozen?
*Remember that no bank will ever ask you to share any sensitive banking information!*