Why CBN will freeze bank accounts without BVN, NIN from April

“The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.”

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CBN, freeze bank accounts, without BVN, NIN, from AprilThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will freeze bank accounts and wallets without a Bank Verification Number or National Identification Number from April 2024. This, according to the CBN is because it is now mandatory for all accounts to have the owners’ BVN and NIN linked to them.

This was contained in a circular signed by the country’s apex bank and made available to commercial banks which states that “The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.”

The circular was signed by the Director, Payment System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and Director Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Haruna Mustapha.

It said the mandate was part of the apex bank’s effort in promoting financial system stability, which has led to its amendment of Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for BVN Operations and Watch-List for the Nigerian Banking Industry.

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The circular said it will freeze bank accounts so affected because: “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 CBN.

“Accordingly, the CBN hereby issues an amendment to Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for 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 profiled in the NIBSS’ ICAD immediately and within 24hrs of opening accounts/wallets.

“Consequently, implementation shall be as follows: Effective immediately, no new Tier1 accounts and wallets should be opened without BVN or NIN.

“For all existing Tier1 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.

“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 shall be applied.

“Finally, all financial institutions regulated by CBN are required to apply strict compliance on restrictions on Tier1 accounts/wallets as they relate to limits on transaction values and cumulative balances. “Please be guided accordingly.”

Continuing, CBN further directed all Executive Compliance Officers, Chief Compliance Officers, or Heads of the Compliance Functions to acquaint themselves with the attached guidance notes to ensure full and uniform compliance.

“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.

the CBN also said, “Also, a comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shall be conducted shortly and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.