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CBN To freeze Bank Accounts Without BVN, NIN Starting April 2024



CBN To freeze Bank Accounts Without BVN, NIN Starting April 2024

The bank will also carry out a “comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shortly

Abuja, Nigeria– The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive stating that starting from April 2024, accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) will be frozen.

The circular, released by the apex bank on Friday, December 1, outlined the stringent measures to be implemented by financial institutions.

The directive mandates banks to impose a “Post no Debit” restriction on all existing Tier-1 accounts and wallets that lack the requisite BVN or NIN. The restriction will prohibit customers from executing withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits on such accounts.

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“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 circular by the CBN Director of Payments System Management Department Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department Haruna Mustapha read in part.

The apex bank also said all BVN or NIN attached to accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024,

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According to the bank, a BVN or NIN verification will be “conducted shortly”, adding that the move is part of its efforts to promote financial system stability and strengthen the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.

The bank will also carry out a “comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shortly” and where breaches are identified, appropriate sanctions shall be applied.

“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.

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In cases where a potential customer does not have a BVN or NIN, the CBN advised the regulated financial institution to “commence the process of enrolling the individual onto the BVN database and be guided by the extant protocols issued by NIBSS,” the circular read.

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