General guide to account opening - consultative document

July 2015

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has today issued for public consultation a revised version of the General guide to account opening, which was first published in February 2003.

Most bank-customer relationships start with an account opening procedure. The customer information collected and verified at this stage is crucial in order for the bank to fulfil its obligations under anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules. As a result, banks' policies and procedures for account opening must fully reflect applicable AML/CFT legislation.

When finalised, the proposed revised version of the General guide to account opening will be added as an annex to the Committee's Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism, published in January 2014. The proposed guide expands on, and should be read in conjunction with, the 2014 guidelines.

The proposed guide is in no way intended to strengthen, weaken or otherwise modify the existing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. Rather, it aims to support banks in implementing the FATF standards and guidance, which requires the adoption of specific policies and procedures, in particular on account opening.

The Committee welcomes comments on this consultative document. Comments should be uploaded here by Thursday 22 October 2015 or they may be sent by post to: Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Bank for International Settlements, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. All comments will be published on the website of the Bank for International Settlements unless a respondent requests confidential treatment.