The Lao Farmer Network (LFN) organized a policy dialogue on the topic of bank account opening for farmers’ organizations on 31 January 2023 at the Farmer, Agri-business, and Market Engagement Center in Vientiane capital involving more than 50 participants from farmers’ organizations, the bank of Laos, commercial banks, and relevant organizations. The meeting was chaired by Somxay Sisanonh, Director General of the Department of Extension and Agriculture Cooperative, and Khammoun Xaymany, President of Lao Farmer Network.
Opening bank accounts under the name of production groups has been a problem for some members of LFN. Banks have different requirements, some of which are difficult to comply with for production groups. Many of them had to open bank accounts using an individual’s name–often using the head of the group to host the account.
In 2022, LFN conducted a study on the issue aiming to have a better understanding and come up with clear recommendations to give a solution to this matter. Phetvilay, the researcher on the topic said that the situation is now different as it has already become easier to open an account. However, registered production groups still need to have some supporting documents namely: an official request from DAFO on behalf of the group (for some areas especially in the rural areas), a Registration paper of the production group, an appointment letter from the group on responsible people of the account, and ID card or family book that proves the identity of the person responsible for the account opening.
Representatives from BCEL, LDB, LVB, APB, and Phongsavan bank said that they need only 2 key documents: a registration letter from the production group and an appointment letter from a representative of the production group. With regard to the request form, each bank has its own template.
LFN has requested each bank to issue a guideline from the headquarters on documents required for the account opening as a reference for county-wide implementation and the banks accepted the request.
This event was supported by the APFP-FO4A project. LFN is the national implementing agency of APFP-FO4A in Laos.
This article was originally published by AFA