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Identification Required for Savings Account Withdrawals

Published: November 2, 2010; 12:51 · (Vindobona)

Since November 1, the implementation of the EU directive on anti-money laundering is in force. Customers therefore need not only a password, but also identification for a savings account withdrawal.

Identification Required for Savings Account Withdrawals / Picture: © Vindobona.org

The requirement for identification when withdrawing from savings accounts was only in place for deposits over 15,000 euro (21,000 dollars). As of now, all account holders will have to identify themselves with an official identification having a photograph, such as a passport, identity card, or driving license in order to make a withdrawal.  In contrast, nothing changes for personal savings accounts, that is to say savings accounts without password.

When opening a savings account, it must not necessarily be in the name of the person who is opening it. As  banks could not determine previously who effected the withdrawals, there was a gap for money launderers and criminals. As of now, every deposit and withdrawal can be attributed to a a specific person be assigned. The password savings account can however be passed on further in future. But banks will save the data of the person who withdraws money from a password-savings account. Data is subject to banking secrecy, and may only be request by judicial order on reasonable suspicion of a felony.

This way, Austria puts in force another part of the EU policy against money laundering and financing of terrorism. In July, the law was passed in Parliament. The last transition period has in fact expired. As the banks already advised their clients during the last weeks, no discussions or difficulties are expected. A few institutions had already put this rule in practice in advance.