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CBN sets new deadline for bank customers’ verification

cbnThe Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday issued a fresh deadline for the bank customers’ verification numbers enrolment throughout the country.

The CBN, in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks in the country, said all commercial banks in the country were required to enrol at least 40 per cent of their customers on or before December 31, 2014 and 70 per cent on or before the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Stressing the need for the DMBs to give more attention to the exercise, the CBN in the circular signed by its Director, Banking and Payments Systems Department, Dipo Fatokun, said all DMBs were required to fully integrate their core banking system latest by the end of this month to ease the enrolment process.

The CBN, which considers the verification exercise as a key component of the know-your-customers (KYC) policy of the banks, has now made it one of the new conditions that must be met before new loans are drawn down. This is expected to take effect from November 3, 2014.

“All credit customers must have BVNs by December 31, 2014,” the CBN said, warning that it would ensure strict monitoring and compliance.

Early this year, the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, had launched the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project as part of its overall strategy to ensure effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principles in the industry.

Consequently, all bank customers throughout the banking industry in the country were expected to be issued a unique identity by their respective banks.

However, the CBN said it observed recently that though banks were making steady progress towards the enrolment of their customers, there was need to spell new rules to ensure the effective implementation of the policy.

The CBN stressed the need for DMBs to ensure that where an existing customer wishes to register the BVN with his or her bank, capturing his signature and photo identification document may not be required, since the bank would be expected to have these information in their records during when they were opening their account.

Besides, the banks are to ensure that when an existing customer wants to do a change of name after his or her enrolment on the BVN, due diligence should be exercised and appropriate legal documents obtained before the change is effected.