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CBN warns microfinance banks over late submission of monthly returns

Alert MFB launches new app to enhance customer transactions

…Threatens to sanction DFIs, Primary Mortgage Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a stern warning to other financial institutions, including all Microfinance Banks (MFBs), development finance institutions and Primary Mortgage banks, regarding the habitual late or non-rendition of statutory monthly returns through the FinA application.

In a letter addressed to all MFBs dated March 5, 2024, the CBN expressed dismay over the consistent delays in submitting regulatory returns.

Citing Section 24 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the CBN reminded MFBs of their obligation to adhere to regulatory requirements, emphasizing the importance of timely submission of financial data.

According to the directive, MFBs are mandated to ensure that their monthly FinA returns are submitted no later than the 5th day following the end of each month. In cases where the deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, MFBs are instructed to submit their returns on the preceding workday.

The letter underscored the seriousness of the matter, warning of potential sanctions for future breaches of regulatory requirements. MFBs were urged to take immediate action to rectify any technical issues that may hinder timely submission, with a requirement to notify the CBN via email at OF [email protected] prior to the deadline, accompanied by evidence of the technical problem.

Valentino Ururuka, on behalf of the director of the financial policy and regulation department, signed the letter, signaling the CBN’s firm stance on ensuring compliance with regulatory standards within the microfinance sector.

Failure to comply with the directive could result in severe penalties, highlighting the imperative for MFBs to prioritize timely submission of regulatory

returns to avoid potential repercussions.

In The same manner, the CBN has expressed dismay over the consistent late and non-rendition of periodic returns via the Financial Institutions Returns Automation (FinA) application by Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and the Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs).

According to the CBN the observation comes as a breach of Section 24 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, along with other existing regulations mandating timely submission of regulatory returns.

DFIs and PMBs are reminded of their obligation to submit their monthly FinA returns no later than the 5th day after the end of each month. Should the 5th day fall on a weekend or public holiday, returns must be submitted on the preceding working day.

These institutions are strongly urged to ensure compliance with these regulatory requirements, as failure to do so may result in sanctions in the future. Additionally, DFIs encountering technical difficulties are instructed to promptly notify the CBN via email at [email protected] before the deadline, providing evidence of the technical issues encountered.

In light of these concerns, Valentine Ururuka, speaking on behalf of the director of the financial policy and regulation department, emphasized the importance of adhering to regulatory deadlines to maintain financial stability and integrity in Nigeria’s banking sector.