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Jakarta Post

Policy issued to ease restrictions on foreigners'€™ bank accounts

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 16, 2015   /  08:03 pm
Policy issued to ease restrictions on foreigners'€™ bank accounts Muliaman D. Hadad (kompas.com/Sakina Rakhma Diah S) (kompas.com/Sakina Rakhma Diah S)

Muliaman D. Hadad (kompas.com/Sakina Rakhma Diah S)

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has issued a circular letter regarding a less strict policy imposed on foreign individuals wishing to open dollar savings accounts in local banks.

OJK chairman Muliaman D Hadad said the new regulation was a follow up to the economic policy package announced by the government on Sept. 9, which aimed to accelerate economic growth.

"The circular letter No. S-246/S.01/2015, which was issued on Tuesday and signed by me, has been sent to all local banks' board of directors that conducted business in foreign currency," said Muliaman in a press release on Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.

Previously, foreign individuals were required to provide numerous administrative documents besides passports when opening a forex savings or time deposit accounts at local banks, including temporary stay permits (Kitas).

"The new policy aims to collect more foreign currency funds to be entered to local banks to increase our foreign currency supplies and to lure more foreigners to invest and travel in Indonesia," said Muliaman.

He added that the less strict policy would include allowing a tourist to open a dollar savings account with a value between US$2,000 and $50,000 -- by providing only a copy of a passport -- and enabling an expatriate to open an account with unlimited or special balances.

For an account with an unlimited balance, which should be more than $50,000, an expatriate should provide a copy of passport as well as one additional document such as a reference letter from another bank, a letter declaring local domicile, a copy of the Indonesian spouse's identity, a copy of a residential contract or a credit or debit card.

As for an account with a special balance, the requirements are the same with the unlimited balance, but the minimum balance should be more than $1 million. The opening of this account, which is set to offer lower and progressive deposit interest taxes, will be prioritized in certain banks that are considered qualified for risk management and prudential banking. (kes)

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