The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday directed all banks to allow their customers having difficulties in linking the bank verification numbers (BVNs) to their accounts to effect the necessary corrections.
Last year the CBN had said that any bank customer without the BVN would from November 1, 2015 be deemed to have inadequate know your customer (KYC) information.
Equally, the bank had clarified that a Nigeria resident’s bank account without the BVN would be allowed to operate as “No customer initiated debit” account until the holder of such an account obtained and attached a BVN to the account.
Regardless, the CBN director of Banking and Payment Systems Department, Dipo Fatokun, said on Thursday the CBN had received reports of customers facing difficulties linking their BVN to their account due to discrepancies in their records on the BVN database and core banking applications with the DMBs.
To resolve the problems, Mr. Fatokun said the CBN approved that correction of dates of birth on BVN record could be corrected once with the relevant supporting documents evidencing the correct date of birth.
Other corrections approved by the CBN include change of name due to marriage, which should be corrected by providing the supporting document, such as marriage certificate/affidavit, while minor corrections in name due to misspelling was approved for correction with supporting documents like international passport showing the correct name.
Although change of names that are totally different or partially different was also allowed, the CBN director said such should be allowed after the customer had produced supporting document to the change of name, including a report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) as a suspicious transaction.
Insisting that customers’ names on the BVN database must be the same in all their accounts across the banking industry, the CBN director said customers wishing to close their accounts should be allowed.
Where such accounts were not linked with the BVN, the CBN said a payment instruction should be issued in the name in which the account was opened with.
In cases where the balance on the account was more than what is legally allowed on paper instrument (N10 million), the bank should seek and obtain clearance for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and NFIU before such accounts and the balance transferred electronically to another account.
Where the bank raises suspicion on the activity of its customer, Suspicious Transaction Report should be filled with the NFIU, while the timeline for the resolution of all BVN issues shall be five working days from the date of the date the customer submits all the required documents.