The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said all accounts without Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the National Identity Number (NIN) would be restricted from transactions starting from March 1, 2024.
This comes as the apex has made BVN and NIN mandatory for all bank accounts opening.
This was disclosed in a circular jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi, director, payment system management department, and Haruna Mustafa, financial policy and regulation department.
The move followed the CBN’s efforts toward promoting financial system stability by strengthening the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.
Consequently, implementation shall be as follows: effective immediately, no new Tier 1 accounts and wallets should be opened without BVN or NIN, the circular stated.
For all existing Tier1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN, the CBN said 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/waliets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.
“Accordingly the CBN hereby 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),” the circular said.
In this regard, the CBN said, it is mandatory for all Tier-1 bank accounts and wallets for individuals to have BVN and/or NIN.
The circular said it remains mandatory for Tiers 2 and 3 accounts and wallets for individual accounts to have BVN and NIN,
According to the circular, the process for account opening shall commence by electronically retrieving BVN, adding that 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 by the NIBSS ICAD mediately and within 24hrs of opening accounts/wallets,” the circular reads.
To ensure uniform and full compliance, the Executive Compliance Officers, Chief Compliance Officers or Heads of the Compliance Functions are advised to acquaint 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 shail be applied.
Finally, all financial institutions 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.