27 February 2016, Abuja — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Thursday, said that bank accounts without the Biometrics Verification Number, BVN, would be operated as “No Customer Initiated Debit”.
The apex bank said this in a circular titled: “Classification of Accounts with BVN Related Issues” sent to all commercial banks and posted on its website. The circular signed by Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Mr Dipo Fatokun, said that such accounts would remain dormant until the account holder obtain and attach the BVN to the account. The circular read, “It has, however, come to our notice, that some customers could not link their BVN to their accounts.
“This is due to discrepancies between the record on the BVN database and the records on the core banking applications of the DMBs. Such customers can approach their bankers for correction, but some of the banks could not effect the corrections. The bank, in the circular, said that in view of this development, it had become imperative for the CBN to issue the clarifications.
It said that such clarifications included corrections of Date of Birth on the BVN record. This should be allowed once, with supporting documents, evidencing the correct date of birth. The CBN said that change of names due to marriage should be allowed with supporting documents, such as marriage certificate or affidavit, among others.
The apex bank said that minor correction of names, due to misspelling should be allowed, with supporting documents such as international passport, showing the correct name.
According to CBN, change of names that are totally different should only be allowed after the customer has produced supporting documents.
The CBN said that this should be reported to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, as a suspicious transaction by the bank customer. The customers of the BVN database should be same in all his/her accounts, across the banking industry, the circular said. On closure of accounts, the CBN said that customers that wished to do so should be allowed.
“Where the account is not linked with the BVN, a payment instrument should be issued in the name in which the account was opened. In the case where the balance on the account is more than what is legally allowed on a paper instrument, the bank should seek for and obtain clearance from the EFCC.
“This should be done before the account can be closed and the balance transferred electronically to another account,” the circular said.
The CBN, however, said that where the bank is suspicious of the activity of its customer, such suspicious transaction should be filed with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU. It said that the timeline for the resolution of BVN issues should be five working days from the time a customer submits all the required documents