The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed financial institutions in Nigeria to place bank accounts without Bank Verification Number or National Identity Number on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’.
The apex bank gave the directive on Friday in a circular, PSM/DIR/PUBICIR/001/053 titled, ‘Circular to All Commercial, Merchant, Non-Interest and Payment Service Banks; Other Financial Institutions, And Mobile Money Operators.’
The circular was signed by the Director, Payment System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.
The apex bank said that as part of its efforts to promote financial system stability, it has become necessary to strengthen the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions under its purview.
Consequently, the CBN said it “issues an amendment to Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) Operations and Watch-List for the Nigerian Banking Industry (The Guidelines).
“In this regard, it is mandatory for all Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals to have BVN and/or NIN. It remains mandatory for Tiers 2 & 3 accounts and wallets for individual accounts to have BVN and NIN.
“The process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN or NIN-related information from the NIBSS’ BVN or NIMC’s NIN databases and for the same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers. All existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS’ ICAD immediately and within 24 hours of opening accounts/wallets.“
The CBN said with immediate effect “no new Tier-one accounts and wallets should be opened without BVN or NIN.
“For all existing Tier-one accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN: Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new process is satisfied.
“Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and no further transactions permitted.
“The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with ALL accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.”
The CBN said, to ensure uniform and full compliance, the Executive Compliance Officers, Chief Compliance Officers or Heads of the Compliance Functions are to acquaint themselves with the attached Guidance Notes which becomes applicable to all institutions regulated by the CBN.
“A comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shall be conducted shortly, and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.
“Finally, all financial institutions regulated by CBN are required to apply strict compliance on restrictions on Tier-one accounts/wallets as they relate to limits on transaction values and cumulative balances.”
Source: The Whistler