BVN: CBN Extends Deadline for Microfinance Bank Customers
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Deadline for issuance of Bank Verification Number (BVN) to customers of micro-finance banks and other financial institutions early fixed July 31, 2017, has been extended to December 31, 2017.
In a circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it explained that the process was given more time because “several OFIs” failed to meet up with the earlier deadline.
In a letter dated April 21, 2017 with the reference number OFI/DIR/CIR/GEN/17/139, the apex bank had directed the financial organisations to “enrol their customers on or before July 31, 2017; and conspicuously display notices sensitizing customers on BVN in the banking hall.”
It had also said “that effective from August 1, 2017, all customers without BVN linked to their account should not be allowed to make withdrawal from those accounts.”
But the CBN expressed dismay that these directives were not fully complied to and stressed that “due to the conscientious efforts noted, the CBN is disposed to acceding to the appeals received from the Financial Inclusion Secretariat, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) and members of Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria (MBAN) soliciting for a shift in the deadline to support better compliance and avoid further financial exclusion.”
In its latest letter signed by the Director of Other Financial Institution Supervision Department, Mrs ‘Tokunbo Martins, the apex bank said, “The various challenges encountered in the early stage of deployment of the joint CBN/NIBSS support to members of NAMB have also informed management’s decision.
“In this regard, management has approved an extension of the timeline to December 31, 2017, to enable all OFIs continue with the BVN enrolment exercise and report progress.”
She said, “As earlier directed, OFIs are therefore required to ensure that all customers are enrolled on the BVN platform utilizing appropriate KYC requirement; continue with the submission of progress reports on BVN enrolment on a monthly basis; continue with the display of notices in the banking hall to further sensitize customers on BVN amongst others channels; and with effect from January 1st 2018, all customers without BVN linked to their account should no longer be entitled to debit operations.”
However, Mrs Martins warned that the CBN “will continue to monitor compliance with the requirements of this circular, and defaulters will be sanctioned accordingly.”