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Banks to keep customers’ information for 20 years

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Banks now have the right to hold onto customers information for two decades. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
FRANCISTOWN: First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) legal and risk manager Gaone Setlhare says amendments to the Financial Intelligence Act now mean banks are required to keep their customers’ information for up to 20 years.

Addressing the bank’s customers in Francistown on Tuesday, Setlhare told FNBB customers of this change during a fraud symposium.

The legal and risk manager said that in the past years, banks were obliged to keep their customers’ information for only five years through both the electronic and manual banking platforms. “We kept our customers’ information for an extra five years when they had stopped banking with us, but with the new law we will keep it for 20 years,” she said.

She further said that the law allows banks to store information electronically so that it cannot be misplaced for future reference when the individual has a case to answer before the law.

Setlhare also said that amendments

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also allow FNBB to divulge customers’ information to various law enforcement agencies such as the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime. “When we receive the request, we don’t give our customers a hint about it because we are under obligation to comply,” she said.

Setlhare noted that Botswana has tightened its laws on money laundering and terrorism financing, with more than 15 laws governing various aspects of the financial sector in this regard. She advised businesses to understand the Financial Intelligence Act and its provisions on doing business in high-risk jurisdictions and in risky sectors. Setlhare said it was critical that businesses conduct due diligence in this regard.



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