Actualidad Colombia

Electronic savings accounts as a tool for making government grants more widely available

Decree 720/2018 – Ministry of Finance and Public Lending

As part of its broader peace-building agreement with the FARC-EP armed group, the Colombian government has rolled out measures to improve the situation of population segments affected by illegal crops, with financial support for people who have signed up for the integrated national program to substitute illegal crops, the PNIS.

In order to make the delivery of these subsidies and grants provided by the government more efficient, amendments have been made to some of the conditions applying to electronic savings accounts (CAE), the opening requirements for which have been substantially simplified, making it easier to access these subsidies.

The changes made affect the following:

  • Targets for CAE: as well as people classified as Level 1 under the system for identifying potential beneficiaries of social programs, –Sisbén- and displaced persons figuring on the National Displaced Population Registry, beneficiaries of support and/or subsidy programs granted by the Colombian government have been included.
  • Limit on standing orders: the threshold on the amount allowed for monthly standing orders has been extended from 2 to 3 minimum monthly wage equivalents (about €680).
  • The use of these accounts has been extended so that their title owners can receive resources from different subsidy programs and benefits.

In addition, credit and cooperative establishments will be required to provide a KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure in advance in those cases in which the established standing order threshold is breached. The T&Cs of these procedures will be set by Colombia’s Financial Authority.