CBN releases new guidelines for OFIs, orders inclusion of NUBAN code or face sanctions

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) to adopt the compulsory Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) or face sanctions.

CBN revealed the new development in a circular signed by its Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa Jimoh. The NUBAN became popular after the West African Monetary Institution mandated its use by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs). Today, every bank has the NUBAN code number for its customers’ accounts.

The directive was given after the CBN reviewed NUBAN, stating that the 10-digit bank account numbering system should now be part of their service in order to ensure equal standard from the DMBs and OFIs.

Deadline and sanctions await: According to the CBN, the OFIs must have incorporated the NUBAN for their customers’ use next year, by March 15 2021, but the directive would commence from April 20, 2020.

“It is in this regard that the revised standards on Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number scheme for banks in Nigeria were revised to include the OFIs. This circular takes effect from April 20, 2020, but with a deadline of March 15, 2021, for full compliance, after which appropriate sanctions would be imposed for contraventions and noncompliance,” the CBN said in a circular.

The CBN said it became necessary to include the OFIs in the uniform customer bank account numbering system following the rise of their role in electronic payment system. It was further stated that the NUBAN system had been efficient in the operations of electronic funds transfer and cheque clearing operations by the DMBs and OFIs.

CBN has been rolling out guidelines for the financial sector in recent times, with the latest being the new revised supervisory and regulatory guidelines for the Microfinance Banks to increase their minimum capital.

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