Johannesburg: Opening a bank account is a hassle free process, but before a bank can initiate the account opening process, there are some important documents that are required.
Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence, says “While the account opening process is simple, most people are still not sure which documents are required. With the change of laws in South Africa, a South African identity document is no longer enough as the bank has to comply with laws such as the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA), which require banks to have the correct and up to date information for new and existing customers.”
Here is a list of documents required before opening a bank account in South Africa:
- Proof of Identity: This must be a valid bar coded green ID book or a Smart ID card that belongs to the prospective account opener.
- Proof of address: A document which reflects a permanent residential address such as a municipal utility bill or clothing account statement that is not older than 3 months from the date of issue.
- Minimum Opening Deposit: This is the minimum amount required to activate the account, it may vary on the type of account you are opening.
Foreign Nationals who reside in South Africa can open bank accounts, but before the account opening process commences there’s declaration they must sign. This is a list of the required documents:
- Passport: a valid passport clearly stating the full names and country of origin of the applicant.
- Proof of address: an official document such a utility bill which reflects the applicant’s residential address, which is not dated older than 3 months.
- Study permit/Work permit: This would apply to either foreign nationals who work or study in South Africa, the bank requires a valid study permit or a work permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs. It’s important to note there are other permits that the bank accepts, these include: business permit, residence permit, retired persons permit, exchange permit, relative permit, medical treatment permit and visitors permit.
- Minimum Opening Deposit: This is the minimum amount required to activate the account.
“Opening an account is relatively easy, but if there any outstanding documents it can add unnecessary delays. At FNB, you can open an Easy Account for as little as R5.25 on the pay as you use option or R53 for a bundle which offers a number of benefits” says van Zyl.