Opening a personal bank account is one of the safest and easiest ways to manages your personal finances. The Gambia has over 12 banks and many microfinance institutions across the country. There is no reason why you should keep your salaries or business sales in the stores, suitcases, or under the mattress at home.
In late 1990, a major fire accident happened at the Serrekunda Market. It burned millions of dalasi worth of goods and cash. During the incident, Police had to stop a man who wants to forcefully enter his shop even when the fire was happily grazing. It was like a life and death situation as he did not think of the risk to his life. After a brief interrogation, he reported that he has cash of over D100,000 in the shop, his three months sales.
Keeping money out of the banking system is prone to the risk of theft, fire, and loss of value. If you deposited these funds into a savings bank account, you are sure to earn some interest or other profit sharing returns (in the case of Islamic banks).
Therefore, as part of our financial literacy efforts, we want you to know how individuals can open a personal bank account in the Gambia.
Requirements to open a Personal Bank Account in the Gambia.
- Identification document – Banks would generally ask you for a copy of a valid document that is identifiable with authority and has a picture. A national ID card, International Passport or Biometric Driver’s license should fulfil this requirement.
- Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) Certificate – The Gambia Revenue Authority issues this document and you can get one within two days at less D200.00
- Passport photo size – A recent passport photo size and your face must be visible
- If you are operating a joint account as a couple, you need to add a copy of your marriage certificate
- Reference letter – Depending on the type of account, you will need a reference from an individual who operates a current account with any bank in The Gambia. For a current account, you require at least one reference while savings do not need one.
- Proof of address – As part of their due diligence efforts, banks are expected to know their customers including their address. Therefore, many banks now request a document that would prove the new customers’ addresses. This document is usually in the form of utility bills such as fixed land bills, electricity and water bill.
- Residence or Work permit – If you are foreign national working in the Gambia, you need also to present a copy of the Residence or Work permit to open an account in the Gambia.
Furthermore, the bank officer who opened the account must sight the original of the applicable documents.
The Process involved in the Opening Account at GTBank Gambia Ltd
As one of the leading bank in the Gambia, GTBank has 17 branches across the country. It has led many innovative technology solutions in the country including 23 ATM points, 55 POS partners, SMS banking, internet banking and many more. Therefore, it will benefit many individuals to understand how one can open a bank account with GTBank Gambia Ltd.
- Visit the nearest branch – Walk into any of the GTBank bank branches and ask for customer services desk. Inform the staff about your intention to open an account, and they will offer you the relevant forms and document requirements. If you are not sure of the account, they will be happy to advise you the most suitable account. You can also download most of the forms on the GTBank Gambia website, click here.
- Complete the forms – Carefully complete the form and seek their advice if you are not sure of any field.
- Submit the completed form and original of the relevant document to the bank officer.
- Wait for your account details – Generally, you should get your account details within two business days, but GTBank Gambia strives to do within the same day. Again, it depends on the type of account and documents presented to the officer.
If you still want to learn more about the services and product offered by GTBank Gambia, you can visit the nearest GTBank Gambia branch or the bank website.
Do you have any question about how to open a personal bank account in the Gambia? Feel free to drop your comment below.