Monaco parliament adopts draft law on legal right to open bank account

Monaco’s National Council has approved a new law which aims to establish a legal right for individuals who either are Monaco residents or Monégasque nationals to open an account in any credit institution based in the principality of Monaco – whether for personal or business purposes.

Monaco doesn’t rely on a national banking institution to identify all bank accounts opened in the jurisdiction, as such an institution doesn’t currently exist in the country.

French banking regulations apply in Monaco, dating back to a 1945 convention signed between the two countries. Certain dispositions from the EU banking and financial regulation are also in effect, given the monetary agreement passed between Monaco and the European Union on 29 November 2011.

However a few dispositions are excluded from the scope of the 1945’s Franco-Monegasque convention such as the legal right to open a bank account.

The proposed law highlights that individuals opening a bank account in a Monaco-based credit institution will have the right to benefit from basic bank account management services, including the provision of a credit card and two cheque books per month by the bank.

The draft law aims at addressing the increasing number of refusals from Monaco-based credit institutions to open bank accounts for individuals, according to the text.

Nevertheless, credit institutions will be able to refuse the opening of a bank account under certain conditions, mostly if the individual opening the account has been judicially condemned or if the bank fails to verify the identity of the client or of the account’s beneficiaries in accordance with the obligations of the Monegasque law on the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism that was passed in 2009.

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