Economy, Business And Markets

CBI May Terminate Multiple Bank Accounts

CBI May Terminate Multiple Bank Accounts  CBI May Terminate Multiple Bank Accounts

The Central Bank of Iran has announced plans to unify multiple bank accounts held by individuals or entities, a senior official with the bank announced.

Holding several bank accounts by individuals or organizations is not a new phenomenon and both groups are entitled by law to open multiple accounts if they so desire. However, the central bank intends to create a single bank account for each legal or natural person, Abdul Mahdi Arjomandnejad, director general of banking regulations, licensing and anti-money laundering at the CBI told Mehr News Agency.

“The initiative, however, is time-consuming and requires cooperation from and among several authorities.” he added.

 Dormant Accounts

The official also outlined the regulator’s plans to address inactive bank accounts.  To this end, 38 million dormant bank accounts lacking national ID number and national code have been blocked.

“Many of these accounts go back 20-30 years ago when the national ID number did not exist and belong to the deceased or individuals who have left the country,” he said.

Natural and legal persons should provide their ID number and national code to reactivate dormant accounts and benefit from banking services. Foreigners residing in the country should also provide the codes assigned to them by relevant authorities.

Dormant accounts which usually contain small deposits have incurred extra cost on banks for data maintenance. One of the reasons behind inflating statistics of such accounts is change of address of individuals from one city to another, according to Hamidreza Azargoun, head of banking license affairs at the CBI who believes the issue should be addressed by reforming regulations.

Last week, the CBI instructed all commercial banks to freeze bank accounts without national ID number or code so that the holders are compelled to refer to the relevant bank and provide the required information, Farid Kian, head of anti-money laundering at the CBI said.

The official noted that legal persons and foreigners account for four million of the frozen accounts that lack either national code or ID number and called on them to refer to the relevant authorities to obtain the required code and number.