By means of a decree published on March 27, 2020 in the Federal Official Gazette, several provisions of the Credit Institutions Law and the Federal Civil Code were amended and added (hereinafter the “Decree“), in accordance with the following:
- Amendment to the Law of Credit Institutions.
Article 59 of the Credit Institutions Law was amended, establishing that minors (i.e. persons under 18 years of age), may open money deposit accounts through their representatives, who shall be the only ones empowered to dispose of the account funds.
However, with the reform published on March 27th of 2020, persons between 15 and 18 years are now authorized to enter into bank money deposit contracts, as well as to dispose of the funds deposited without the intervention of their representatives. Such accounts will be limited only to the receipt of resources by electronic means from government programs, as well as wages and salaries deposited by the employer, nevertheless the receipt of deposits, both in cash and electronic transfers, by persons other than those already mentioned is prohibited.
Likewise, it should be noted that minors may not obtain loans with the funds deposited in such accounts.
In this case, the Bank of Mexico will be responsible for determining, through general provisions, the characteristics, level of transactions, limitations, requirements, terms and conditions of the accounts in question.
- Amendment to the Federal Civil Code.
- Amendment to article 23.
In addition to the above, article 23 of the Federal Civil Code, which establishes that the minority age, the state of interdiction and other disabilities established by law are restrictions to legal personality was reformed in accordance with the following
By means of the Amendment of March 27, 2020 a second paragraph was added to article 23 of the Federal Civil Code, which now establishes an exception for minors, from the age of 15 up to the age of 18 may open bank deposit accounts without the intervention of their representatives, in terms of the provisions of article 59 of the Credit Institutions Law.
- Amendment to Article 430.
Article 430 of the Federal Civil Code was amended in order to establish that, in the case of bank deposit accounts referred to in the second paragraph of article 23 of the same Code, the full amount of the funds deposited in such accounts shall belong to the minor.
This is in contrast to article 430 of the Federal Civil Code, which provides that regarding property acquired by minors under any title other than their work, ownership and half of the usufruct shall belong to the minor and the administration, and the other half to those persons exercising parental authority.
- Amendment to Article 635.
Regarding article 635 of the Federal Civil Code, the reform provides that all acts performed in accordance with the provisions of Article 23 of the same Code shall be valid, i.e. bank deposit accounts opened by persons between 15 and 18 years of age, without the intervention of their representatives, in terms of the provisions of Article 59 of the Law on Credit Institutions.
- The aforementioned reforms entered into force on the day following to the publication of the Decree, that is, on March 30, 2020; granting the Bank of Mexico, as well as the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, a period of 90 calendar days as of the day following the publication of the Decree to issue or modify the general provisions for the implementation of the reforms contained in the Decree.
- It is important to mention that the Fifth Transitory Article of the Decree establishes that credit institutions must inform the minors parents or guardians about the account opening, as well as grant them access to the statements and movements of the deposit accounts.
- Likewise, the Sixth Transitory Article of the Decree establishes that public institutions in charge of executing government programs, whose resources may be deposited in bank deposit accounts for minors, must send a report containing a list of the beneficiaries to the National Banking and Securities Commission on a quarterly basis.
- The purpose of the reform is questionable since it seems that it is only intended to facilitate the receipt of funds intended for minors derived from government programs; however, the possibility that minors over the age of 15 may open bank accounts should also be applicable to alimony and child support.
- In addition to the above, it is relevant to take into consideration that besides bank deposit accounts mentioned in the body of this document, the Federal Civil Code also empowers minors under 18 years of age to administer by themselves all those assets they have acquired through their work.