New acting CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso
CBN To Freeze Accounts Without BVN, NIN By March 2024
Yinka Olajoyetan, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that effective March 1st, 2024 all bank accounts or wallets without Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identity Number (NIN) shall be frozen.
In a circular released on Friday to all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, including other financial institutions and mobile money operators, the CBN made the use of BVN and NIN  for all existing and new bank accounts mandatory.
The CBN statement reads: “As part of its effort in promoting financial system stability, it becomes necessary to strengthen the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions under the purview of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Accordingly, the CBN hereby issues an amendment to Section 1 & 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 same to become the primary information for onboarding of new customers, and
“All existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiied in the NIBSS’ ICAD imediately and within 24hrs of opening accounts/wallets.
“Consequently, implementation shall be as follows: Effective immediately, no new Tier-1 accounts and wallets should be opened without BVN or NIN.
“For ALL existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN: Effective immediatety, 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.
“To ensure uniform and full compliance, the Execute Compliance Officers, Chief Compliance Officers or Heads of the Comphance Functions are advised to acquint themselves with the attached Guidance Notes which becomes applicable to ALL institutions regulated by the CBN.
“Also, a comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shall be conducted shortly and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.
“Finally, all financial instituttons regulated by CBN are required to apply strict compliance on restrictions on Tier-1 accounts/wallets as they relate to limits on transaction values and cumulative balances.”
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