On February 22 2001, Brazil's National Monetary Council approved Resolution No 2817, establishing the rules regarding the opening of new current accounts by electronic means.
According to this resolution, financial institutions and institutions authorized to operate by the Central Bank of Brazil, when opening a new current account solely by electronic means, do not need to examine original counterparts of the relevant documentation. "Electronic means" comprise the internet, electronic banking points, the telephone and any other authorized electronic means made available to the clients by the institutions.
Such new bank accounts may only be opened by individuals and legal entities that are resident and domiciled in Brazil and that already have a current account opened in the original institution or in any other financial institution.
Despite the exceptions to the formalities for opening a new current account by electronic means, the financial manager or the director of the financial institution is not discharged from their responsibility to ensure the true identity of the account holders. Furthermore, the director of the financial institution must still comply with all regulations now in force, including the responsibility to carry on the applicable proceedings regarding the prevention and avoidance of money laundering crimes.
Finally, websites for the opening of electronic accounts must include the following:
- clear specification as to the corporate name of the institution and its status as a financial institution or an institution authorized to operate by the Central Bank of Brazil;
- clear specification as to the services and amounts charged to the client in relation to such services rendered by the institution; and
- the necessary technology to guarantee the security and secrecy of the electronic correspondence.
Eliana Maria Filippozzi