CBN to freeze non-BVN, NIN bank accounts in April 2024

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will freeze accounts without BVNs or NINs in April 2024.

In a Friday circular, the top bank urged banks to impose a “post no debit” restriction on withdrawals, transfers, and other debits “for all existing Tier-1 accounts or wallets without BVN or NIN.”

Any underfunded account or wallet will be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ immediately until the new process is complete. The CBN Director of Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha, issued a circular on March 1, 2024, declaring all funded accounts or wallets on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ and prohibiting further transactions.

By January 31, 2024, all account or wallet BVNs or NINs must be electronically revalidated.

BVN or NIN verification would be “conducted shortly,” according to the bank, as part of its efforts to maintain financial system stability and strengthen financial institution KYC procedures.

The bank will conduct a “comprehensive BVN and NIN audit shortly” and apply punishment for breaches.

“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 the same to become the primary information for onboarding new customers, all existing customer accounts and wallets for individuals with validated BVN shall be profiled in the NIBSS’ ICAD immediately and within 24 hours of opening accounts and wallets,”

The CBN recommended regulated financial institutions to “commence the process of registering the individual onto the BVN database and be led by the existing protocols published by NIBSS” for potential customers without BVNs or NINs.

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