The good news is that, in the last few days, the deadline has been extended but customers will still need to prove who they are. We explain how.

Last week we highlighted that many Turkish Banks are asking their customers to prove their identity as part of anti money laundering checks that are being carried out nationwide.

We also highlighted that customers who cannot to prove their identity by 31 December could have their accounts frozen under Turkish anti money laundering legislation.

Well the good news is that the Ministry of Finance ‘Financial Crimes Investigation Board’ (MASAK) have extended the deadline in the last few days because of the slow progress being made by banks trying to get ID for over 90 million accounts!

Instead of all checks being completed by 31 December the new deadline has been moved to 1 June 2009.

However, the threat still remains that anyone who doesn’t prove their identity by the new deadline will have their Turkish bank accounts frozen along with all interest payments and bill payments.

So what do you need to do?

www.fethiyetimes.com, as promised, visited their bank earlier this week to find out what resident and non resident bank holders need to do and we gleaned the following information:

Customers who are NOT Turkish citizens and who are able to visit their bank branch in PERSON should do so before 1 June taking with them:

Their bank book/proof of account

Photo ID such as a passport

A Turkish telephone bill, electricity bill, water bill, marriage licence or residence permit as proof of address;

OR, if the customer only has UK ID, a Inland Revenue Tax Coding Notice, a council tax bill or a UK utility bill showing the customers UK address.

If these cannot be provided customers should contact their bank.

For customers who are unable to visit their branch in person, for example because they are living in the UK, they should:

Contact their Turkish bank and find out if a faxed or emailed proof is acceptable.

If it is then obtain the fax number or email address and send a copy of their ID (See above) to the bank.

We suggest you should also ask for a receipt and confirmation that the ID has been received and is acceptable.

Anyone who has set up an account after 1 July 2008 should have already provided the correct ID and will therefore not be required to supply the information again.

So don’t hang around. prove your ID SOON to avoid any frozen assets!

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