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BCRA Relaxes Requirements to Open Savings Accounts as a Way to Further Financial Inclusion

The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) has relaxed the requirements that banks must ask for their clients when opening savings accounts.

As under communication “A” 6050, the BCRA reduced the amount of data that banks are to gather in order to verify the identity of their potential clients so that anyone who wants to access a savings account can do so by simply showing their ID. As per BCRA’s regulation, savings accounts in pesos and the relevant debit cards linked are free of charge (Com. A 5928 dated March 21, 2016).

This streamline process fosters the access to financial services, particularly for those who have no address or utility service in their name.

Any users of financial services can undergo this process, as long as they do not hold another deposit account within the financial system, they are not politically exposed, and their outstanding balances and transfers from their accounts are within certain limits. In the case of the balances, the limit is 25 minimum wages, while in the case of transfers the limit in cash is 4 minimum wages monthly. These requirements are in line with the provisions set forth in resolution 94/2016 of the Financial Information Unit (Unidad de Información Financiera, UIF), which made this process more flexible.

This is one of the key measures that the BCRA has been adopting during this year to facilitate access to financial services and promote greater bankarization. In this regard, the BCRA established that all savings accounts in pesos and transfers—through cashier’s desk, ATMs or online banking—are free of charge. In addition, the BCRA has begun to post comparative tables of banks’ charges for their different products with a view to promoting transparency. Finally, BCRA regulations have disentangled the mechanism for clients to choose another bank for operating. With the measure announced today, the BCRA takes another step in the direction of promoting financial inclusion.

August 26th, 2016

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