06/12/2010 00:00 AST

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, is well set to introduce International Bank Account Number (IBAN) to all local and international incoming payments as well as outgoing payments to other IBAN-compliant countries. IBAN is simply a customer's existing account number in a format/structure that makes it internationally recognizable, NBK stated in a press release on Sunday. The implementation of the IBAN, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, is in compliance with a directive by the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK).

Commenting on IBAN, Deputy General Manager of Operations Group at NBK, Abdulla Abu Al-Hous said that IBAN is a simple, standard way to identify account details and helps to speed up the clearance of payments. This will be to the benefit of all retail and corporate customers who make or receive payments.

"Under the new system, no outgoing payments will be made to IBAN compliant countries such as Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Turkey and Europe amongst others, as these payments will be immediately rejected by NBK if it does not have an IBAN. This will eliminate these payments being rejected by the beneficiary bank resulting in delays for the customer," he said.

Abu Al-Hous indicated that IBAN, which will become compulsory in Kuwait from Jan. 1, 2011, will apply to several types of payments i.e. payments made or received from another local bank, international payments and standing orders to other IBAN compliant countries as well as new local standing orders established after Jan. 1, 2011. Customers who are receiving their salaries through telex transfers from abroad will have to ensure that their employers include their IBANs.


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