The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued the a revised regulatory framework for Bank Verification Number Operations in the country and therein announced that it would not hesitate to impose penalties for any infractions by banks and individuals that do not comply with BVN Watchlist policy.
According to the CBN through the circular dated October 12, 2021, infractions such as misuse of the BVN watchlisting process for victimization and improper linking of accounts/ wallets (except for Tier 1 accounts) will attract appropriate penalties.
In the revised framework, the CBN said that no account/ wallet(except Tier 1) should operate without BVN and that any deposit money bank that breaches this rule will pay a fine of: N2,000,000 penalty per infraction while a customer will pay 15% of the total amount credited into the account during the period infraction exists and N20,000 penalty per infraction/ customer per day after the infraction exists.
The Central Bank further stated that failure to capture customers’ biometrics and biodata in line with the BVN framework would attract N2,000,000 penalty per infraction/ customer.
Directing Banks to ensure that all operated accounts/wallets (except Tier 1) (including accounts/ wallets (except Tier 1) opened through agents) are linked with the signatories’ BVN within 24 hours of Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) making BVN available, the CBN said that the fine for noncompliance with this rule will be a fine of N200,000 penalty per infraction/ customer (and) N20,000 penalty per infraction/ customer per day after the infraction exists.
For lenders who fail to ensure validation and linkage of BVN data with accounts, they will pay a N2,000,000 penalty per infraction/ customer. Furthermore, the apex bank directed Banks to ensure that BVN details of all signatories, Directors, and Beneficial owners are linked to their respective nonindividual accounts/wallets (except Tier 1), adding that this rule is also mandatory for Non-resident Non Nigerian Directors (NRNND) of corporate accounts. It stated that non-compliance with this directive will attract N200,000 penalty per infraction/customer. N20,000 penalty per infraction/ customer per day after the infraction exists.