Banks Close 2 Million Accounts Over BVN, NIN, Others

During the first quarter of 2024, Nigerian commercial banks shuttered over 2 million bank accounts, as part of an initiative targeting dubious accounts, particularly those failing to adhere to regulatory mandates regarding linkage with the National Identity Number (NIN).

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had previously issued a directive in December 2023, instructing all commercial banks to restrict tier-1 accounts lacking proper NIN and Biometric Verification Number (BVN).

According to a recent report by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), more than 2 million accounts were closed in alignment with the CBN’s directive. Furthermore, the NIBSS noted a month-on-month increase of 4 million inactive bank accounts, reaching 19.7 million in March 2024 from 19.3 million in February.

Nevertheless, active bank accounts saw growth, with a reported increase of 6.62 million or 3.0 percent to 219.64 million from February’s 213.02 million, as per the report cited by Vanguard.

An account is classified as inactive when it registers zero transactions, encompassing deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or point-of-sale transactions, for a period of six months.

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