Re: Legal Opinion regarding providing a/c statements to the wife of an account holder, who is neither a signatory nor a delegate/authorised individual of the account.
We refer to your letter dated 05 April 2007 on the above subject.
From your letter it appears that, Bank 1 (“BANK 1”) has received a letter from Mrs. A (wife of Mr. x, ex-MP) asking for the a/c statements of her husband – who has been maintaining accounts with BANK 1. Mrs. A is neither a signatory nor a delegate/authorised individual of Mr. x’s account as per the records of BANK 1. Therefore, according to banking regulations BANK 1 is unable to provide Mrs. A, Mr. x the details of Mr. x’s accounts. This has been conveyed to Mr. x by BANK 1 on various occasions. However, on this occasion she has requested the branch manager to give a written reply to her letter. She has verbally informed the Manger that the Bank’s reply might be produced at court as evidence showing why Mr. x or his family were unable to provide complete statement of Mr. x’s properties to the Government.
In these circumstances, you have asked for our legal assistance and requested us to draft a reply to Mr. x’s letter.
Although according to the banking regulations bank is under an obligation not to disclose the statement of accounts of its customer to a third party without the authorisation of the account holder; we are of the opinion that, taking into consideration the emergency situation of the country, BANK 1 may provide the Bank Statements of Mr. x’s accounts to his wife Mr. x, subject to BANK 1 being satisfied about the identity of Mr. x (i.e. upon perusing her passport or otherwise), if any of the following conditions are fulfilled:
a) Mr. x submits a letter of authorisation from Mr. x authorising Mr. x to collect his bank statements from BANK 1; OR
b) If Mr. x is unable to sign the letter of authorisation or unable to sign it in time for obvious reasons, Mr. x submits a letter of indemnification signed by her stating that in the event Mr. x sues BANK 1 in future for disclosing his bank statements to a third party, she shall indemnify BANK 1 for any loss which may be suffered by BANK 1.
As requested by you, we have drafted a reply to Mr. x’s letter. We have also drafted a letter of authorisation and a letter of indemnity.
If you have any further query, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
For: “The Lawyers & Jurists”