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Nigerian banks commence implementation of new cheque policy



Nigerian banks commence implementation of new cheque policy

Nigerian banks have declared the commencement of a new cheque policy set in motion by a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive, that demands the incorporation of a standardised new digit on the magnetic ink character recognition code line and expiry dates on cheque books.

Cheques in the old and the new formats have been simultaneously accepted for some time now but only those which complies with the new standardisation principles will henceforth be honoured for clearing.

Nigerian banks on Sunday announced the execution of the new cheque policy, with United Bank for Africa (UBA) disclosing in a note to customers that the procedure aimed at boosting security of cheque transactions via the security of the settlement process through safer and quicker cheque processing.

The new features comprise narrower and longer columns for payee and amount in words, according to the lender.

The new cheque policy also requires the dateline to appear in the sequence of day followed by month, and then year on the cheque leaves.

Amount in figures, which previously appeared under date, now comes below amount in words.

The signature line has moved from under the column for amount in words to the space beneath amount in figure, while the control number has been increased from 8 digits to 10 and moved to the top right corner of the cheque.

Read also: Nigerian banks could record weak earnings in 2020 –Report

Tier 1 lender First Bank of Nigeria Limited similarly acknowledged the starting if the new cheque policy just like a number of other banks.

To achieve a seamless implementation of the new cheque policy, the apex bank has stated its determination to create a friendly ambience and for cheque processing and other paper instruments through improved infrastructures.

“The cheque truncation system shall continue to be used for the exchange of images of the instruments and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) data,” the regulator said in its Monetary, Credit, Foreign and Exchange Policy Guidelines for fiscal year 2020/2021.

“The cheque clearing cycle remains T+1 and maximum cap on cheque at N10.0 million. The bank will continue to take necessary steps to achieve a clearing cycle of T+0.”

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