As part of measures aimed at correcting perceived deficiencies in its national security plan and financial services sector a few years ago, the previous PPP/C administration had made it compulsory for persons to present strict proof of their existing address before they can open bank accounts or even buy a mobile SIM card.
However, while this may seem to be a good initiative in the interest of securing a paper trail, thousands of young Guyanese are now facing “hell and high water” to satisfy this requirement.
Many of whom had spoken to this publication, explained that even when they land a job and need to establish a bank account to save some of their earnings, the proof of address requirement often causes them to walk away from the bank.
In other instances, many said that even when they purchase a mobile phone with a portion of their paycheck, they are often unable to obtain a SIM card since one cannot be issued to them unless they can provide proof of their address or cause someone else with address verification documents to obtain the SIM card for them.
For many of these younger folks whose average age ranges between 18 to 24, the proof of address requirement is driving them away from saving or doing business within the mainstream financial system. It can also serving as a deterrent to the growth of the telecommunications sector or others where this requirement is a necessity.
In view of this, many have suggested that the new government should review the proof of address requirement or put some sort of alternate system in place so as to accommodate the younger population who may not be in a position to initially provide these requirements.