Identifying yourself

The obligation to identify yourself – your bank has to know you!

Banks are required to know their customers. This consists both of knowing the identity of their customer (identification requirement) as well as to have a knowledge about their normal pattern of transactions, such a transfers, amounts paid into their accounts as well as their business connections.

Banks require this information as they are obliged to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. If the bank spots a transaction that appears to be abnormal, then the bank is obliged to follow up this transaction.

When commencing a business relationship – for example when opening an account – banks, insurance companies and investment services are required to determine your identity. To do so, you must show your official photo identification document in person. There is also the possibility to use video-based online identification. Ask your financial institution for further details about this.

Banks, insurance companies and investment services are allowed to ask you questions about your job, employer or type of self-employed activity, sources of income etc. to establish your typical transaction patterns and your business relationships. This information is legally required to be collected, and therefore does not automatically mean that you are under suspicion.