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CBN Orders Zenith, Fidelity Bank, Others To Close, Delink These Bank Accounts Within 30-Days



Zenith Bank Profit H1 2021, Mompha

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given a 30-day ultimatum to Zenith, Fidelity, and other Nigerian commercial banks to close bank accounts without BVN.

BrandNewsDay reports that according to the apex bank, the directive is aimed at promoting safer, more reliable, and more efficient banking and payment systems. Data from the NIBSS showed that 57.39 million customers’ accounts had been linked to their BVNs as of April 8, out of over 190 million bank accounts.

This online newspaper understands that the deadline is contained in the CBN’s Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN). Nigerian banks have been given 30 days to close bank accounts without BVN.


How the account closing will work As part of the policy implementation plan, the CBN directed banks to link customers’ BVNs to related accounts or wallets (except Tier 1).

This requires using the customer’s BVN generated after his or her enrollment to link accounts or wallets to which he or she is a signatory after validation.

Part of the framework reads: “No new account or wallet shall be allowed to operate without BVN (except inflows); however, any account or wallet without BVN shall be closed within 30 days.”


CBN also said the BVN shall be delinked upon the approval of the Chief Audit Executive of the customer’s bank. It said delinking customers’ BVN from accounts or wallets involves removing the BVN of a signatory (except for directors or beneficial owners) that is linked to an account or wallet.

CBN explained: “This delinking is for corporate or joint accounts and for activities not associated with breaches. Returns on delinked accounts and wallets (except Tier 1) shall be rendered to the Director, Payments System Management Department, on a monthly basis.”

Also, where there is no linked account, a nil report should be submitted, while fraud management is a process aimed at using BVN to deter, prevent, detect, and mitigate the risks of fraud in the banking industry.”


Meanwhile, in another report, CBN is preparing to issue guidelines to promote the safe and efficient use of contactless payments in Nigeria. Guidelines cover technical and operational requirements, security measures, and standards for issuing and accepting contactless

The move is part of the CBN’s effort to modernize the cashless payment policy in the country.

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