THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking to set detailed rules on joint deposit accounts, which include allowing electronic signatures and the national ID as the sole proof of identity for account opening.

Under the draft circular, electronic signatures will be allowed for opening a joint account or proving the identity of depositors in accordance with Republic Act 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000. It requires banks to get a minimum of three specimen signatures from concerned account holders.

The draft rules also said banks should allow account holders to submit their national IDs as their sole proof of identity, as provided by Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act and BSP Memorandum No. M-2021-035 issued in June, which said financial institutions could be subject to penalties if they refuse to recognize a national ID as proof of identity for their Know-Your-Customer processes.

“It (national ID) shall be accepted as official and sufficient proof of identity, subject to the appropriate authentication methods, without the need to present other forms of identification,” it said.

The draft rules recognize two types of joint accounts: those using “or,” where depositors are allowed to make transactions independent of the other; and those using “and,” where withdrawals need to be authorized by all depositors.

Regardless of the account type, those owning joint accounts are allowed to deposit money without the consent of their fellow account owners, the proposed circular said.

The proposed rules also said banks may conduct due diligence for joint depositors with all-online transactions.

“For accounts used purely for digital or electronic payments or transactions, banks may define appropriate due diligence procedures provided that money laundering/terrorism financing risks are effectively managed,” the circular said.

If approved by the Monetary Board, the rules will be part of Section 276 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks, which currently does not have specific guidelines for joint accounts.

Stakeholders are given until Sept. 24 to give their feedback on the circular to the relevant BSP offices. — LWTN