CBN Directs Banks to Close Accounts Without BVN in 30 Days


From Victor Osula, Abuja
As part of efforts to promote safer, more reliable, and more efficient banking, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks to close banks accounts of customers without Bank Verification Numbers, BVN, within the next 30 days.
Payment systems data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, showed that 57.39 million customers’ accounts have been linked to their BVNs as of April 8 2023, out of over 190 million bank accounts.
As part of the policy implementation plan, the CBN directed banks to link customer’s BVN to related accounts/wallets, except Tier 1.
This requires using the customer’s BVN generated after his/her enrollment to link accounts/wallets to which he or she is a signatory, after validation.
Part of the framework reads: “No new account/wallet shall be allowed to operate without BVN (except inflows), however, any account/wallet without BVN shall be closed within 30 days.”
“This delinking is for corporate or joint accounts and for activities not associated with breaches. Returns on delinked accounts/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.”