Dormant account guidelines: CBN slams N2m fine on erring banks - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Dormant account guidelines: CBN slams N2m fine on erring banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has slammed a fine of N2 million as penalty on banks that disobey its new Guidelines on the management of dormant accounts, unclaimed balances and other financial assets in financial institutions in the country.

The apex bank disclosed this today in the guidelines announced in a circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Chibuzo Efobi.

The CBN said:"A contravention of any provision of the Guidelines shall attract a penalty of not less than N2 million. 

"Failure to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N200,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by CBN."

According to CBN the guidelines were rolled out in response to the request of banks  and other stakeholders for the apex bank to further clarify the procedure for the management of dormants and inactive accounts by banks in Nigeria.

The guidelines among other things stated the roles of financial institutions saying:" The financial institution shall bear the costs of maintaining inactive and dormant accounts as well as contacting the customers;
"Render quarterly reports on dormant accounts in a prescribed format to 
Banking Supervision Department and Other Financial Institutions 
Supervision Department, CBN;
"Notify account owners in writing through the agreed medium such as  email, text message, and letter immediately an account becomes inactive/dormant;
"Reactivate dormant accounts upon request by the account owner or his/her legitimate representatives;
"Continue to reflect dormant account balances as deposit liabilities and such balances, where applicable, shall continue to earn interest until 
they are transferred to CBN."

In its electronic fact sheet for 2021, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, stated that the number of bank accounts stood at 191.4 million as at December 2021 while the number of active bank accounts were 133.5 million owned by 122.3 million active bank Customers.

Consequently, 57.9 million inactive accounts were recorded during the period.

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