CBN to freeze accounts without BVN, NIN April 2024

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has directed a “Post-no-Debit” restriction on all bank accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN), effective April 2024.

This is according to a circular issued by the apex bank and sent to all deposit money banks yesterday, which instructed banks to place a “Post-no-Debit” restriction –which prevents customers from making withdrawals, transfers, or any other debits “for all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN”.

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

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

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 strengthening of the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.

The Bank further said it 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 on-boarding 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”, the CBN added.

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”.

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