Legal Update/Mozambique: Framework for bank accounts provided by credit institutions

Mozambique has changed the legal framework for bank accounts provided by credit institutions, according to official legal database Legis-PALOP+TL.

According to Law n.º 27/2022, as of December 29 credit institutions that take deposits and individuals, public and private, who are or wish to hold bank accounts at such institutions, will be subject to the following new rules:

  • Bank accounts can be opened in national or foreign currency;
  • All natural and legal persons with legal personality can hold bank accounts;
  • Societies in phase of constitution, unrecognized associations, civil society organizations, commissions, condominiums or similar entities may hold bank accounts, provided that it is expressly identified: the person authorized to operate the account;  the way in which they are replaced, in the case of alterations or the absence of all or any of them, upon presentation of any document that, by its nature, is legally valid.
  • Natural persons aged 18 or over may freely open, operate and close bank accounts;

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  • Individuals between the ages of 15 and 18 can open, operate and close their bank accounts, under the following terms: upon authorization, in writing, from the legal representative, with a signature duly recognized in person; or when they do not have a legal representative, proceed individually with the opening, handling and closing of bank accounts, with the credit institution having to request, in advance, the intervention of the Curator of Minors in the area of residence of the minors, to pronounce within 5 days.
  • Those under 15 years old can open, operate and close bank accounts through their legal representatives.
  • Legal persons can open, operate and close bank accounts after they are legally constituted.

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Credit institutions that take deposits are still subject to compliance, under penalty of fines that may amount to around 5,735,000 Meticais (around 90,000 USD), or up to around 2,150,000 Meticais (around 33,000 USD) if the credit institutions are microfinance operators or the offender is a natural person, duties related, namely, to the following:
⦁ Customer identification and verification;
⦁ Forms of identification and data capture;
⦁ Unique bank identification number (NUIB);
⦁ Information;
⦁ Communication of contractual clauses;
⦁ Constitution of the banking relationship;
⦁ Opening and movement of bank accounts;
⦁ Bank account blocking;
⦁ Captive balance;
⦁ Termination of the banking relationship;
⦁ Data protection and consultation, among other duties.

 

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