From "pen friendship" to "online dating": Account management in transition

The first symposium of the association of German Treasurer e.V. in 2019 took place on 9 April 2019 in the airport terminal of Düsseldorf. Almost 100 members gathered at the DUS conference Centre to discuss bank account management.

The contents of KYC and e-BAM were examined from the different perspectives of corporates, banks, system providers and supervisory authorities.

One and a half year ago, a working group was formed consisting of 20 representatives from companies, banks and system providers with the aim of developing a KYC information package in order to relieve companies in their day-to-day business.

A key message was that KYC is a risk-based process and not a rule-based process. KYC is comparable to a credit process: "Here, too, the banks' assessments can be different”.

The e-BAM working group presented the existing possibilities for the electronic BAM (Bank Account Management) process and promoted the idea of pushing the process through all counterparts.

An example of how the Bank Account Management process can already be implemented now was presented by a corporate. Here it was recognized that KYC is not e-Bam, but it belongs together. The corporate's goal is to coordinate a KYC catalogue with all its banks that fully covers the requirements of each bank for opening an account.

In a lively presentation, a speaker from the Federal Administration Office gave insights into the functions of the eID procedure in relation to the ID card (passport). From this, starting points for the KYC and e-Bam processes were derived, which opened new perspectives for the audience.

As a concluding presentation, a bank representative tried - with success - to "square the circle or harmonise KYC". The presentation made it clear that the complaints that treasurers have had about their banks' handling of know-your-customer requirements for years are still relevant. It was pointed out that the regulatory pressure on banks to combat money laundering and other financial crimes is high. However, the participants do not want to accept this as their sole excuse. For example, one treasurer criticised a drive for self-preservation on the part of the banks' strongly grown compliance departments: "They have no incentive to rationalise their own workplace through more transparency or standardisation”.

In a concluding panel discussion, the system providers stated that in everyday working life the possibilities of system-side support of the KYC process, primarily in the e-Bam process, have not yet been implemented, due to the fact that the corresponding formats are not yet supported by the banks and, on the other hand, the companies do not (cannot) provide the necessary data.

Overall it was an exciting day which, according to the feedback of the participants, generated new ideas for the day-to-day business and could also be used for the exchange of information and experience, and for personal networking.

VDT

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