Expatica news

Thousands of accounts risk freeze

3 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Thousands of customers could soon find their Belgian bank accounts frozen, it was reported on Thursday.

A law introduced last February aiming to crack down on money laundering gave banks until next Wednesday to show they were properly identifying their customers “within a reasonable deadline”.

Banks have been contacting customers to ask them to produce identification like an ID card or passport.

According to Le Soir, the big banks now say 95 percent of their accounts are “in order”.

But ING said customers had failed to produce ID for 100,000 accounts, while Fortis said it still had 180,000 accounts not in order.

Despite numerous letters, emails and other messages, the customers have failed to reply.

ING and Fortis have already said they may make one last attempt before blocking the accounts and other banks could follow suit.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news