Banks to stop
Move aims to maintain ties
The Association of Banks (ABL) said its board of directors has decided to recommend that member banks stop opening new numbered bank accounts for their customers and to close existing ones as soon as possible.
The identity of the holder of a numbered account is kept anonymous by using a number instead of the holder’s name in the statement of account and in transaction histories. Only a few select bank employees know the customer’s name.
The decision, which follows a visit to the United States by an ABL delegation, aims to strengthen and maintain the local banks’ ties with their correspondent banks abroad, the ABL said.
The move is part of global regulatory endeavors to fight money laundering and was driven by pressures from corresponding banks to make more effort in terms of due diligence. The potential closing of numbered accounts will not affect the country’s banking secrecy laws.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: May 22, 2019