CBN Orders Banks to Restrict Accounts Without BVN, NIN, Gives Implementation Date

CBN Orders Banks to Restrict Accounts Without BVN, NIN, Gives Implementation Date

  • The CBN said that bank accounts without BVN/NIN will be restricted from March 1, 2024
  • The apex bank mandated banks to place a "Post No Debit or Credit" on unfunded accounts
  • It also said the new guideline is aimed at promoting financial system stability journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed that all funded accounts without a Bank Verification Number and National Identification Number be restricted with no further transactions permitted from March 1 2024.

CBN announces date for banks to restrict accounts without BVN, NIN
The new guide is applicable to all institutions regulated by the CBN. Photo Credit: CBN
Source: UGC

This was disclosed in a circular to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks and other financial institutions and mobile money operators.

The December 1, 2023 circular ordered banks to place a "Post No Debit or Credit" on any unfunded account.

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The new guide applies to all institutions regulated by the CBN.

Need to strengthen KYC

The CBN stated that the move is part of its effort to promote financial system stability by strengthening the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions under its purview.

It also said no new Tier 1 account and wallet should be opened without BVN or NIN.

The apex bank also said the BVN or NIN associated with all accounts must be electronically validated by January 31, 2024.

The CBN added that a comprehensive BVN and NIN audit should be conducted shortly, and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.

It also asked all financial institutions regulated by the CBN to apply strict compliance with restrictions on Tier 1 accounts relating to limits on transaction value and cumulative balances.

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More amendments

The apex bank directed banks to ensure all operated accounts/wallets, including those created through agents, are fully profiled in the NIBSS ICAD and tagged with valid and correct BVN and NIN.

It mandated all regulated institutions to profile all their customers' accounts on NIBSS' ICAD and tag them with their unique identifiers within 24 hours of generating and assigning an account number to a new or existing customer.

It prohibited banks from enrolling new customers by manually creating a customer profile and subsequently attaching a BVN or NIN.

Meanwhile, the CBN recently redeployed top officials in the apex bank to reinvigorate the institution.

Samuel Oyekanmi, a macroeconomic analyst explained that the masterplan of BVN/NIN registration and link to account number is to ensure a level of transparency in financial management typically mitigate against financial fraud.

He added,

"While it does not have a significant direct link to the broader economy, it would help to strengthen the banking system, improve KYC, and help in detecting/tracing fraud."

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CBN activates automatic debit orders on debtors' accounts, other defaulters in commercial banks also reported that Olayemi Cardoso, the CBN governor, revealed that over N10 trillion has been loaned to customers under various intervention schemes.

CBN data showed that between September and October 2022, the apex bank disbursed about N41.02 billion to several agricultural projects under the Anchor Borrowers' Programme (ABP).

The total disbursement under the ABP scheme amounts to N1.07 trillion to about 4.6 million smallholder farmers growing 21 commodities nationwide.


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