Saxony's Commissioner for Foreigners Geert Mackenroth and the state's consumer advice center have called for unhindered account access for war refugees from Ukraine. Formal hurdles made this more difficult in individual cases, they criticized according to the announcement on Tuesday. Banks such as Sparkasse Chemnitz refused to open accounts with reference to the Money Laundering Act because some Ukrainian ID documents did not meet the modern biometric standard.
Formally they were not wrong, said Mackenroth. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) made it clear in April that it would not object to the deviation from the statutory regulations. "We appeal to the Saxon savings banks to reconsider their position." It is "in everyone's interest to quickly integrate Ukrainian refugees into our society and thus also into economic life".
The head of the consumer center, Andreas Eichhorst, recalled the special responsibility of the savings banks as public institutions. "As sensible as the money laundering regulations are, this is about people in need and we have to help them."
The Sparkasse Chemnitz announced that the bank adheres to the applicable law, but has also been demanding a change in the law for months. The bank said it was advertising to members of the Bundestag and state parliament that the relevant paragraph in the Money Laundering Act would be expanded. "Opening an account with a citizen's passport is and remains a violation of the law without any change." According to its own information, Sparkasse Chemnitz has so far opened over 900 accounts for Ukrainian war refugees.