by Ebere Agina

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set new deposit limits for all categories of account holders and introduced three-tier Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for banks.

In a circular issued by the CBN to all banks and other financial institutions, signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Chris Chukwu, maximum single deposit amount of N20,000 and N50,000 was set for Low and Medium Value Accounts respectively.

The CBN also put maximum cumulative balance for Low Value Accounts at N200,000 at any point in time and a maximum cumulative balance of N400,000 on the Medium Value Account. However for the High Value Account, no limit is placed on cumulative balance.

The policy also categorised bank customers into Low Value Accounts (level one); Medium Value Accounts (level two) and High Value Accounts (level three).

The CBN said that the policy became necessary after it recognised that access to basic banking facilities and other financial services was necessary in achieving the policy on financial inclusion.

Chukwu advised banks to adopt the new KYC requirement, adding that the proposed deposit limits was meant to reduce the risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

According to him, Low Value Accounts are subject to close monitoring by the financial institutions and less scrutiny by bank examiners. He said such accounts could be opened at branches of banks by a prospective customer or through banking agents and no amount is required for its opening. However, such accounts prohibit international funds transfer.

The Medium Value Accounts can be opened face to face at any branch of a bank by agents for enterprises or by the account holder, but the accounts are strictly savings with no amount required for its opening. Also, where cross-checking of client’s identity cards information is not completed at the point of account opening, withdrawal would be denied.

Furthermore, he said that for the High-Value Accounts, banks are required to obtain, verify and maintain copies of all the required documents for account opening. Accounts are to be opened at the bank branches by physical presence of the prospective customer and the accounts could be both savings and current.

However, for mobile banking products, the account attracts a maximum transaction limit of N100, 000 and daily limit of N1 million. However, such products are subject to the CBN Regulatory Framework for Mobile Payments Services in Nigeria.

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