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Central Bank Cracks Down on Illegal Foreign Accounts

The Central Bank (CBM) has ordered all Myanmar citizens and companies to provide full details of any overseas-based bank accounts – seemingly a response to the recent depreciation of the Kyat

Central Bank Deputy Governor Set Aung issued the notification targeting banks demanding that details of the accounts be submitted by December 12. The notification was sent to all domestic banks on December 5. It states that the directors, officials and advisers to the banks have to submit information on their foreign bank accounts, including balances, and they must also inform their customers who have opened foreign-based bank accounts to do the same. The Central Bank warned that anyone who fails to follow the notification would face potential charges under sections 38 and 42 of the Foreign Exchange Management Law enacted in 2012.

Section 38 states that nobody is allowed to “engage in foreign exchange activities without a licence”, while section 42 stipulates a punishment of “up to three years imprisonment, or a fine, or both. Furthermore, the assets may be confiscated.” An officer from the Economic and Commercial Ministry said foreign bank accounts are illegal if the holder has not informed the CBM.