October 14, (THEWILL) – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered banks and other financial institutions to report the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of a deceased customer to Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) within 24 hours of confirmation, warning that violators would be sanctioned.
The directive is contained in a circular issued by the apex bank and signed by its director (payment system management), Musa Jimoh.
The circular titled: “Issuance of Revised Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number Operations and Watch-list for the Nigerian Banking industry”, and addressed to deposit money banks, mobile money operators, super agents and payment service providers, stated that banks should “report the BVNs of confirmed deceased customers to NIBSS for designation as “Deceased” on the BVN database within 24hrs of confirmation.”
It listed a watchlist of stakeholders to include the CBN, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), banks, other financial institutions and bank customers.
Part of the circular stated that 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 will attract sanctions.
The banks are also expected to use the watchlist report submitted by participants and duly endorsed by the Managing Director/CEO of the institution, with clearance from the CBN director (risk management) to delist the BVN from the watch-list.
Jimoh said the CBN’s move aligned with the powers conferred on the regulator, under the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 (CBN Act), and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.
The framework enhances effectiveness of customer due diligence and Know Your Customer processes as part of the strategy for promoting a safe and efficient banking and payment system.