Angola: New Bank Account Regulations

By way of Order 1/23, of 30 January 2023, the Angolan Central Bank (BNA) has issued regulations on the opening, operation and closing of bank accounts by the Angolan commercial banks. Below is an outline of the new rules:

  • Any individuals or companies, including non-resident entities, may open accounts with Angolan banks in local currency (Kwanza) or hard currency;
  • Accounts may be opened in person or online;
  • Clients cannot use third-party funds to open an account unless a “credible justification” is provided;
  • Banks must organize an individual file for each client with the client details, signature sample and other information;
  • A Bank Account Contract must be provided to each client with the terms for using the account, bank charges and fees, treatment of client information, communications between the bank and the client, and other mandatory information;
  • Regular account extracts must be provided to clients free of charge;
  • Accounts are considered “dormant” if no debit entry is registered for a period of 24 months. Banks must establish restrictions to the movement of dormant accounts;
  • Transfer of hard currency between accounts domiciled in Angola is only permitted between the same client, affiliated companies or parents/children;
  • Credit facilities cannot be extended to hard currency accounts unless the client is an exporter entity;
  • Upon learning that a client has passed away, banks must immediately block the transfer of funds from the account. Movement of the account is only permitted to the heirs of the deceased client provided appropriate legal documentation is provided the bank;
  • If a client is declared bankrupt or insolvent, banks must immediately block access to the account and comply with the instructions received from the relevant judicial authority;
  • Banks can discretionarily close any account subject to providing 60-day advance notice to the client;
  • Banks can close an account immediately in the following cases:
  1. The client has provided false or incomplete information to the bank;
  2. The client has breached the Bank Account Contract;
  3. The bank is unable to comply with the Know Your Client (KYC) obligations;
  4. The client’s risk profile is unacceptably high to the bank;
  5. The client (company) is extinguished;
  6. By decision of a judicial authority.
  • Banks can close accounts that are dormant for 15 years if the bank is unable to contact the client (including through newspaper notices) during this period. Funds in closed accounts must revert to the State.

Banks have a grace period of 90 days to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

The previous regulations dealing with the subject matter are revoked, including BNA Orders 3/09, of 5 June 2009, 10/16, of 5 September 2016 and 2/17, of 3 February 2017.



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