Consumers have until February 28 to update their records before they face repercussions
Banks prepare to suspend customers if they fail to submit Emirates ID information
UAE banks have put measures in place to suspend customers that do not comply with the Central Bank of the UAE’s directive to submit their Emirates ID.
Upendra Balchandani, head of products, retail banking, at Commercial Bank International said "in accordance with the Central Bank directive" the bank has "introduced service disruption consequences for non-compliance".
Mr Balchandani said the bank has “continuous communication” going out to customers, asking them to provide up-to-date information by the February 28 deadline to ensure their direct debits and debit and credit cards are not suspended.
“We stress the regulatory requirement in our communication and offer convenient ways for customers to update their information," he added.
A central bank circular sent to banks and finance companies earlier this month urged banks and finance companies to ensure customers update their records by February 28 to avoid repercussions. The ruling applies to customers that have not already handed in identity documents.
Al Etihad Credit Bureau said earlier this week it only has Emirates ID information for 85 per cent of the 4.5 million borrowers listed in its database. Another 15 per cent do not have identity data.
Suvo Sarkar, senior executive vice president and group head of retail banking and wealth management at Emirates NBD, said the bank communicates "with its customers on a periodic basis to encourage them to update their Emirates ID related information" via its online platforms, ATM network, website or mobile app.
"Customers are usually prompt in providing updated information with some delays if they are travelling or busy, however we give sufficient advance notification so that the update can be completed in time," said Mr Sarkar.
Mr Balchandani said it is important for a bank to have its customer’s identity documents to comply with legal, regulatory and reporting requirements, including those of the Central Bank of the UAE, the AECB and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
It is also to "enable smooth operation of customer services; authentication, communication, payment validation,” he said.
Keren Bobker, a consumer columnist for The National, said some bank customers simply do not “get around” to sharing their ID documents with banks, while others do not consider it important or have the right documentation.
“The documents are required to satisfy the standard anti-money laundering legislation and also to check that people are legally employed and able to meet liabilities,” she said.
“Not all banks will accept soft copies being sent to them so it can be inconvenient to travel to a branch with originals."
Mr Balchandani said some customers may not be aware “it is a regulatory requirement to update their personal information”.
“Unless there is service disruption as a consequence, it is one of those things that might not be seen as a priority,” he said, adding that customers can submit their Emirates ID to CBI online, by visiting a branch, or contacting their relationship manager.