Diamond dealers should have a smoother access to opening a bank account

In recent years, diamond companies could barely open bank accounts for their business, or had to stand idly by as the longstanding relationship with their bank was abruptly terminated without further explanation. The Royal Decree on the Basic Banking services for companies that came into force in 2023 should turn the tide.

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Due to internal de-risking AML bank policies, banks were reluctant to open or maintain bank accounts for diamond companies, resulting in a crucial obstacle for those looking to start a new business or to continue their existing business. Unless they found another bank, diamond companies faced a complete stalemate.

As from this year onwards, companies may apply for a basic banking service for companies.

An application for the basic banking service is possible if the diamond company has been refused by 3 Belgian banks. The bank has to judge the risk on a case to case basis, and motivate any refusal accordingly and in writing (unless such motivation would infringe the Belgian AML law). The bank has to send its motivation ultimately within 10 working days after receipt of the request.

Companies applying for basic banking services, must address their request to The Chamber of Basic Banking Services of the FPS Economy, who will inform the applicant with a registered letter about the decision.

More information on applications for basic banking services can be found on the AWDC website.

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