Determined to promote safer, reliable and efficient banking and payment system, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week issued a 30-day ultimatum to Nigerian banks to close bank accounts without Bank Verification Number, (BVN).
In the reckoning of CBN, the directive was aimed at promoting and engendering the much needed confidence and consequently financial system stability.
Besides engendering financial system stability, the linkage was wxpected to assist the banks in fraud management, by using BVN to deter, prevent, detect and mitigate the risks of fraud in the banking industry.
The exercise was also aimed at reducing the high level of insecurity occasioned by kidnappers or abductors insisting on ransom payments before releasing their victims
However, data from the NIBSS showed that 57.39 million customers’ accounts have been linked to their BVNs as at April 8, out of over 190 million bank accounts.
But, the deadline, which was contained in CBN’s Regulatory Framework for BVN, has not gone down well with some Nigerians in Diaspora,who allege refusal by some banks, particularly, the old generation banks after series of requests.
Some of them, resident in US and Uk, that got in touch with metrobusinessnews, (MBN) through correspondences,are calling on the regulatory bank to intervene and as well postpone or possibly extend the deadline and as well urge the affected banks to do the needful.
who contacted metrobusnessnewscontained in CBN’s Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN). Nigerian banks have been given 30 days to close bank accounts without BVN.
One of the messages of complaints to MBN read,”I have been calling the Union Bank of Nigeria since I got my BVN number courtesy of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC many years ago to ask them to link the number to my account to no avail. I also wrote a letter to my branch at Okokomaiko, Lagos to that effect which my elder brother sent to them on my behalf but got no reply. On behalf of other Nigerians in the diaspora, I appeal that the Central Bank should not implement the order to banks to close down accounts not linked with BVN numbers until the banks make it possible for those of us making efforts through calls and letters to their banks for long without success, are attended to by way of simply linking our BVN numbers to our accounts. It is not rocket science. Banks can undertake the process by way of secure email links to affected persons or even through courier mails between them and the affected persons if they are still stuck in the old method.”
CBN further directed that “No new account/wallet shall be allowed to operate without BVN (except inflows), however, any account/wallet without BVN shall be closed within 30 days.”
It also said that the BVN shall be delinked upon the approval of the Chief Audit Executive of the customer’s bank, addng that delinking of customers’ BVN from accounts/wallets involves removing the BVN of a signatory (except for Directors/Beneficial owners) that is linked to an account/wallet.
CBN explained: “This delinking is for corporate or joint accounts and for activities not associated with breaches. Returns on delinked accounts/wallets (except Tier 1) shall be rendered to the Director, Payments System Management Department on a monthly basis.”
“Also, Where there is no linked account, a nil report should be submitted while fraud management is a process aimed at using BVN to deter, prevent, detect and mitigate the risks of fraud in the banking industry.”