Business Account Open Survey Report July 2023
Published: Friday February 2nd, 2024
This report summarizes the results from the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ survey on account opening for businesses, which was undertaken during October 2022. The survey focused on some of the issues business owners face when opening an account at the various commercial banks in The Bahamas. The survey took into consideration the type and complexity of accounts being opened and the length of time it took for these to be opened. Other factors addressed within the survey included respondents’ experience while opening the accounts, and information regarding clients’ prior expectations of the process. The appendix provides some of the common themes garnered from the free form questions, which also asked respondents to provide suggestions on how to improve the process. These underscore room for improved customer service relations; in some cases both better understanding of and application of the regulatory requirements impacting customer due diligence, and improved timeliness of outcomes. Given the results, which represent significant impacts on micro and small businesses, the Central Bank proposes to target a more effective application of a risk-based, simplified customer due diligence process, which has already been published via regulatory guidance. As necessary, the guidance will be further expanded, and regulatory expectations will be established to ensure that financial institutions actively develop and maintain internal systems to improve the onboarding process for businesses.
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