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CBN Sets April 2024 to Freeze Accounts Without BVN, NIN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed a “Post no Debit” restriction on all bank accounts without a Bank Verification Number and National Identification Number effective April 2024.

“Post No Debit” is a term used to describe a restriction imposed by banks on specific accounts, preventing customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits from their accounts.

This measure effectively freezes the funds in the account, rendering it inaccessible for the duration of the restriction.

The CBN’s directive was contained in a circular issued by the apex bank and sent to all deposit money banks on Friday.

The Central Bank also stated that all the BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all ccounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.

The circular was jointly signed by the Director, Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha.

The bank said the directive was part of efforts to promote financial system stability and strengthen the Know Your Customer procedures in all financial institutions.

It also amended Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for BVN to ensure mandatory registration of all tier-1, 2, and 3 bank accounts and wallets with BVN or NIN.

The circular read, “As part of its efforts in promoting financial system stability, it becomes necessary to strengthen the Know Your Customer procedures in financial institutions under the purview of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Accordingly, the CBN hereby issues an amendment to Section 1.5.3 of the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number Operations and Watch List for the Nigerian banking industry.

“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.

“All existing customer accounts/wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS ICAD immediately and within 24 hRS of opening accounts/wallets.”

As a result of the new guidelines, the bank said any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on “Post No Debit or credit until the new process is satisfied.

It added that all accounts/wallets will be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024.

The circular further read, “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: i. Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on “Post No Debit or credit until the new process is satisfied.

“Effective April 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.”

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.

“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,” the circular concluded.

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CBN Releases 16 Banking Transactions Not Affected by Cybersecurity Levy

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Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive that all banks should commence charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions within the country, below are 16 banking transactions that are exempted from the CBN’s new cybersecurity levy:

  1. Loan disbursements and repayments
  2. Salary payments
  3. Intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer
  4. Intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank
  5. Other Financial Institutions instructions to their correspondent banks
  6. Interbank placements,
  7. Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa
  8. Inter-branch transfers within a bank
  9. Cheque clearing and settlements
  10. Letters of Credits
  11. Banks’ recapitalisation-related funding – only bulk funds movement from collection accounts
  12. Savings and deposits, including transactions involving long-term investments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds, and Commercial Papers.
  13. Government Social Welfare Programmes transactions e.g. Pension payments
  14. Non-profit and charitable transactions, including donations to registered non-profit organisations or charities
  15. Educational institutions’ transactions, including tuition payments and other transactions involving schools, universities, or other educational institutions
  16. Transactions involving bank’s internal accounts such as suspense accounts, clearing accounts, profit and loss accounts, inter-branch accounts, reserve accounts, nostro and vostro accounts, and escrow accounts.

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CBN Directs Banks to Charge 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy on Electronic Transfer

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and other financial institutions to implement a 0.5 percent cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers.

This is contained in a circular signed by Chibuzor Efobi, Director of Payments System Management and Haruna Mustafa, Director of Financial Policy and Regulation on Monday.

The directive was issued to commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, as well as mobile money operators.

CBN said the policy would take effect in two weeks and charges would be described as ‘Cybersecurity Levy’.

According to the apex bank, the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

“Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, “a levy of 0.5% (0.005) equivalent to a half percent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the second schedule of the Act, is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund (NCF), which shall be administered by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA),” CBN said.

CBN said the charges would be remitted to the national cyber security fund, which would be administered by the office of the NSA.

“Deductions shall commence within two (2) weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the 5th business day of every subsequent month.”

CBN said failure to remit the levy is an offence which attracts a fine of not less than 2 percent of the annual turnover of the defaulting business, amongst others.

“Finally, all institutions under the regulatory purview of the CBN are hereby directed to note and comply with the provisions of the Act and this circular.”

Meanwhile, earlier, banks announced the reintroduction of 2 percent charge on deposits above N500,000.

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Naira Slumps to N1,399/$1 in Official Window, N1,430/$1 in Parallel Market

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The Naira continued its slump against the American dollar for the seventh consecutive day on Friday, in both the official and parallel windows.

The domestic currency traded at N1,399.23/$1 and N1,430/$1 respectively.

This is according to data sourced from the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window.

At the end of trading on Friday, the Naira lost N89.35 against the dollar when compared to the previous exchange rate of N1,309.88/$1 on Thursday, April 26, 2024.

The intra-day high and low recorded during the day were N1,410/$1 and N1,05/$1 respectively, representing a wide spread of N359/$1.

Similarly, the Naira slumped against the dollar at the parallel section of the market for the seventh consecutive day to trade at N1,430/$1 representing a loss of N10 when compared to the N1,420/$1 it traded the previous day.

However, the Naira gained against the pound. The domestic currency appreciated by N50 against the British Pound to trade at N1,650/£1 as against the previous trading price of N1,700/£1 representing a gain of N50 for the local currency,

The Canadian dollar however closed flat against the Naira to trade at N1,000/CA$1 same as the previous trading day rate.

The Euro also slumped against the Naira to trade at N1,450/€1 as against the rate of N1,500/€1 the previous trading rate indicating a gain of N50 for the Nigerian currency.

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