Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

In a circular released yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed banks to place Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of fraudulent customers on a watchlist . Failure to do so, will lead to the Chief Audit Officer of the affected bank being penalized.

Here are highlights of the circular:

  • Banks are expected to report confirmed fraudulent individuals with BVNs to NIBSS for update of its watch list database.
  • Banks are expected to update the terms and conditions of account opening package with the following disclaimer for new accounts and communicating the update to existing customers:

If a fraudulent activity is associated with the operation of your account, you agree that we have the right to apply restrictions to your account and report to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

  • Customers are also expected to report any fraudulent activity on their accounts.
  • A watch-listed individual shall not be allowed to enter into new relationship with any bank.
  •  A bank may choose not to continue business relationship with account holder on the watch-list.
  • A watch-listed individual shall remain in the watch-list for a period as specified in the penalty table. In the event of a reoccurrence, the tenure shall begin to count from year one.
  • Penalties that applied to watch-listed customers shall apply to all accounts that he or she is a signatory to.
  • All aggrieved individuals listed in the watch-list shall go to their bank to obtain formal request for delisting.
  • Only a bank that places an individual on the watch-list can request for such delisting.
  • A customer’s name can only be removed from the watch list upon expiration of term in the watch-list or a BVN was included in error.

Here is a copy of the circular.


Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via onome.ohwovoriole@nairametrics.com


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