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CBN warns financial institutions against BVN violations, sets N2m fine

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reaffirmed that financial institutions and consumers that violate Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) would face sanctions.

It said this in a circular to all deposit money banks, mobile money operators, super agents, and payment service providers titled ‘Issuance of the revised regulatory framework for Bank Verification Number operations and watch-list for the Nigerian banking industry’ published on its website on Tuesday.

Part of the circular said, “The following infractions by participants shall attract appropriate penalties:

“Misuse of the BVN watch-listing process for victimisation; improper linking of accounts/wallets (except Tier 1); and other infraction(s), as may be determined by the CBN.”

The CBN said it would ensure all operated accounts/wallets (except Tier 1) (including accounts/wallets (except Tier 1) opened through agents) were linked with the signatories’ BVNs within 24 hours of NIBSS making BVN available.

It added that operators must “enroll all mobile money wallets (except Tier 1) subscribers on the BVN database and link their wallets (except Tier 1) with their BVNs within 180 days of the issuance of this framework;

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“Ensure that BVN details of all signatories, directors, and beneficial owners are linked to their respective non-individual accounts/wallets (except Tier 1).”

CBN also stated that it is mandatory for non-resident non-Nigerian directors of corporate accounts to have a BVN.

Penalty

Some of the penalties listed for financial institutions having a customer operating an account without BVN there will be N2,000,000 penalty per infraction/customer, 15% of the total amount credited into the account during the period infraction exists and N20,000 penalty per infraction/customer per day after the infraction exists.

Others are failure to capture customers’ biometrics and biodata in line with the BVN Framework, CBN revealed a N2,000,000 penalty

Per infraction/customer.

Also, failure to report customers’ BVN for watch-listing N200,000 penalty per infraction/customer.

Failure to correctly report the BVN of deceased customer will be N100,000 penalty per infraction/customer.

While for not following due process in confirming and designating a customer as ‘DECEASED’ N20,000 penalty per infraction/customer per day after the infraction exists.

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