On 11 November 2014 the State Bank of Vietnam
(SBV) issued amendments to its anti-money
laundering regulations. Circular No. 31/2014/TT-NHNN
("Circular 31"), which became effective
on 26 December 2014, amends Circular 35/2013/TT-NHNN issued by the
SBV on 31 December 2013 ("Circular 35").
Circular 31 streamlines the process for banks conducting "Know
Your Customer" checks on individual and corporate customers.
It also introduces reporting requirements for banks on electronic
transactions, and ushers in new AML compliance procedures for
Know Your Customer Procedures
Circular 31 reduces the information required to satisfy
"know your customer" procedures for both individual and
corporate clients. Under Circular 35, banks were required to
collect information from their individual clients about their
average income for the 6 month period prior to such person becoming
a bank customer. Individual clients were also required to provide
information about their family members. Circular 31 eliminates the
requirement for individuals to supply information about their
families, and reduces the disclosure of average income from 6
months to 3 months.
Under Circular 35, corporate clients were required to submit
financial statements from the 2 years prior to becoming a bank
customer. Circular 31 has removed this requirement. Instead,
corporate entities must disclose revenues from the preceding 2
Circular 31 also provides guidance on reporting electronic
transactions. Banks must report domestic transactions with values
of VND500 million (or equivalent foreign currencies) or above, and
cross-border transactions with values from USD1,000 (or equivalent
other foreign currencies) or above to the SBV's Department of
AML ("AML Department"). Debit card,
credit card, and interbank transactions are exempt from this
Internal Compliance for Banks
Circular 31 sets out new internal requirements for banks.
Particularly, all banks must:
designate a particular staff member who will be responsible for
anti-money laundering compliance ("Staff in
Charge") and register the Staff in Charge with the
conduct an annual internal audit on anti-money laundering
compliance and submit the result of the audit to the AML Department
within 60 days after the end of each financial year; and
provide regular training to their employees with respect to the
anti-money laundering regulations.
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This article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
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