As required, I have been doing a lot of bank visitations since the inception of this blog. Basically to get a firsthand information and witness banking operations and services rendered by the banks. I walked into a First Bank branch in Lagos and luckily, though funny, I ran into a customer/prospect who came to open an account with the bank. According to him, he won’t be opening the account if not that his contract employermandated he opens one with First Bank.
His issue was not with the bank but Nigerian banks in general. “This is the reason I just maintained one bank account! Too many requirements and too long a process! You guys always stress people unnecessarily!” he shouted. I got attracted to the mini drama and as I got closer, I realized that the cause of the issue was that the relationship officer had just given him a list of requirements to open an account. Truly, I could relate with his frustration and I am sure a lot of us feel same about this as well.
However, I need us to understand the reason behind each document requested by banks in the course of account opening.
1. Means of Identification(Driver’s Licence, National ID, International Passport and Permanent Voter’s Card) - As the name implies, this captures information about you as obtained in Nigeria. It captures your face and other vital information needed by the banks to verify information provided about you.
2. Utility Bill (PHCN, Water, House Rent) – This sometimes is the most annoying of all the requirements. Most people don’t seem to understand why this should be a requirement to open account. Here is the simple secret; it is used to cross check your address. This is the more reason why they ask for a recent one (not more than 3months) and to ensure your address is on it.
3. Passport Photograph– This is basic. To capture your face which will be linked to the account.
4. TIN Number (For Corporate accounts) – It is a statutory requirement for all to pay tax as long as you are making money in Nigeria. The Tax Identification Number is a must have for all business establishment.
5. Board Resolution (For Corporate Account) – This is to show that the Board members of the organization are aware and in support of the account opening. This is the more reason why banks insist that it is signed by a minimum of 2Directors or a Director and the company secretary. It must also be sealed to further make it more genuine.
6. Resident Permit (For non-Nigerians) – This is a proof that one is permitted to live in the country.
7. Reference Letter –This is for security reasons due to the type of account that is being opened. Reference letter provides sureties to an account in cases where things go wrong on the account.
8. Birth Certificate (For Minors Account) - This is simply a means of identification for the minor. A minor in this case is one who is less than 18 years of age.
When next we are opening an account and asked to provide any of these, please let us bear with the bankers. It is for a given purpose as required by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).