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Banks Fret as Clampdown on Accounts without BVN Draws Near

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Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country have started reaching out to their customers, asking them to come and complete the biometric registration process, as the deadline of the Federal High Court’s interim order obtained by the Federal Government to freeze all accounts – corporate and individual – without Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) approaches, according to Daily Times.

 

The development came as the Federal Government said that funds in 46 million bank accounts that have yet to be linked to BVN will likely be temporarily forfeited, just as no fewer than 15 million Nigerians living in the Diaspora with about N3 trillion have kicked against the action.

 

But banks have started sending text messages and electronic mails to customers without BVN as majority of customers affected by the development were mostly those with names mismatch, findings by our correspondent has revealed.

 

Also, customers, who have different names order across banks, were mostly affected, while the number of customers who had no BVN was very small compared to those who had complied with the directive.

 

But contrary to indications that was credited to a Chief Executive Officer of a commercial bank that he and his colleagues will be unable to obey the directive of the Federal Government to forfeit customers funds in accounts without the BVNs have been reaching out to their depositors reminding them of the need to enroll for the BVN exercise.

 

For instance, some banks SMS to their customers without BVN reads: “Dear Customers, Your Acct is *********.Kindly visits any of our branches to enroll for BVN or link your existing BVN via ATMs, website or the through the bank USSD code.”

 

But before now, indications have emerged that a CEO of one of the banks reportedly stated that the directive by the CBN is not feasible.

 

The CEO, who spoke under anonymity, said there are huge holes in the legitimacy of the order given by federal authorities.

 

According to the CEO, “What of a situation where somebody has died and the matter is in administration, what do you want the bank to do? To give government the money and face litigation? “What of Nigerians who are abroad and are still struggling to get their BVNs? What if we send the monies to government and we are sued by the customer(s)? “And the 14-day time frame is very short. Why the rush? Why not give a time frame, maybe till 2018 for people to get their BVNs?

 

Meanwhile, a source from another commercial bank, who was authorized to speak for the bank said: “Prior to this directive, we have been freezing the bank accounts of customers to enable them comply. The customers who are yet to do that are mostly those who have names mismatch problems. This will be resolved soon.”

 

Another tier 1 bank noted that its bank would comply with the CBN directive to freeze accounts and publish names if there was no contrary order within the stipulated period.

 

“We are already taking steps to communicate with customers who had yet to do so”, the source explained.

 

The Federal High court had ordered the banks to disclose the details of all such accounts, their owners and their proceeds in their affidavit of compliance deposed to by their chief compliance officers.

 

It also made an interim order directing the banks to freeze all the said accounts by stopping “ all outward payments, operations or transactions ”pending the hearing of the substantive application seeking the forfeiture of the balances in the accounts to the Federal Government.

 

The banks were also directed to disclose “any investments made with funds from these accounts without BVN in any products. ”

 

Such investments to be disclosed by the banks as directed by the court include “fixed/ term deposits and their liquidation and interest incurred, bank acceptances, commercial papers and any other relevant information related to the transaction made on the accounts”.

 

The court also directed the CBN and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems “to validate the information contained in the affidavit of compliance/disclosure filed by the respective 19 banks” within seven days from the date of service of the orders on them.

 

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E-Financial

Spray Naira, Go to Jail- CBN

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued warning against spraying, selling and mutilation of naira notes, a criminal offence, which the bank said attracts five years’ imprisonment.

 

Expressing worry over the act, which it said is becoming common practice among Nigerians, the apex bank said anyone caught would henceforth be made to face the full wrath of the law.

 

It assured marketers, merchants, shopping malls and supermarkets of the bank’s continuous injection of huge volumes of banknotes into the circulation.

 

The development, according to Mrs. Priscilla Eleje, acting director, Currency Operations Department, CBN, was to preserve the pride of the country and ease difficulties being encountered by the traders and customers occasioned by the inadequate circulation of the lower denomination banknotes like N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5.

 

Mrs. Eleje, who was represented at the public sensitsation and enlightenment campaign at Alesinloye market by Mrs. Olufolake Ogundero, deputy director of the bank, added that the bank recognises the important role markets play in economic transaction, hence the need for ease accessibility of the lower denominations to carry out economic transactions.

 

She said: “It is a criminal offence punishable by six months’ imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both to sell, spray or mutilate the banknotes. It is also a criminal offence which attracts five years’ imprisonment without an option of fine for anybody to counterfeit the naira. Naira is our pride as a country. So, respect it.”

 

Mrs. Labake Lawal, leader of the market women, assured the CBN of the cooperation of her members, stressing that “we will comply strictly with the agreed guidelines and utilise the banknotes for the intended purpose”.

 

 

 

 

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E-Financial

Customers Experience Banking Fraud, Worry About Online Security Measures- Poll

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Researchers of analytics software firm FICO found that majority of Internet users are annoyed with web and phone security measures. Out of 2,000 polled adults, 81% don’t see the need for what they call unnecessary security procedures.

 

64% of the respondents are not happy about the need for elaborate passwords featuring a mix of numbers, symbols and capital letters, and 71% would rather not deal with captcha codes, as they often have illegible words.

 

Overall, more than two-thirds of people (71%) think there are too many security measures nowadays, and 58% are irritated about having to remember email addresses to recover passwords. 78% said they struggle to keep track of all their passwords.

 

“It’s important to provide consumers with smooth, easy customer experience, but at the same time, people need to be educated that security measures are necessary,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, a VPN service provider.

 

“Hacking, ransomware and phishing are on a historical rise all over the world. People need to use strong passwords and take precautions when going online. However, there are ways to make this easier – for example, by using a password manager.”

 

More than half of the respondents (55%) said they had been victims of banking fraud.

 

NordVPN offers easy online security tips to make it easier for consumers to deal with all the security measures while keeping them safe online.

 

  1. Use a password manager. Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords and choosing different passwords for different accounts. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into an account. A strong password has a minimum of 12 characters and includes a strong mix of letters, numbers and characters. In order to easily track all your passwords, it’s recommended to use a password manager, such as truekey.com, LastPass and 1Password.

 

  1. Don’t forget to install the latest security updates. Security updates often contain patches for recent vulnerabilities, which hackers are looking to exploit. It takes just a few minutes, and the update lasts more than a month.

 

  1. Don’t open anything suspicious you get through email. Delete dubious emails from your bank, ISP, credit card company, etc. Never click on any links or attachments in emails you’re not expecting. Never give your personal details if asked via email.

 

  1. Back up all data. Back up your data on an alternate device and keep it unplugged and stored away. Backing up data regularly is the best way to protect yourself from ransomware because only unique information is valuable. It’s an easy and fast process with a long term impact.

 

  1. Use a VPN for additional safety. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware that targets online access points. That’s especially relevant when using a public hotspot. However, keep in mind that a VPN cannot protect you from downloading malware. While a VPN encrypts your activity online, you should be careful when downloading and opening certain files or links.

 

  1. Close pop-up windows safely. Ransomware developers often use pop-up windows that warn you of some kind of malware. Don’t click on the window – instead, close it with a keyboard command or by clicking on your taskbar.

 

  1. Use anti-virus programs. Make sure you have installed one of the latest reputable anti-virus programs to make sure you are fully protected.

 

 

 

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E-Financial

AfDB, AfreximBank Sign Strategic Factoring Project to Support African SMEs

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The African Development Bank, through its Trade Finance operations, and Afreximbank yesterday signed a Grant Agreement to support the development of factoring (a form of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount) on the continent.

This is a big step towards both institutions’ unrelenting drive and commitment to continue enabling extra and intra-Africa Trade.

The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) hosted by the African Development Bank will invest US$500,000 towards the total deal size of US$950,000.

This investment is intended to finance the capacity building of a number of identified emerging factoring firms, advisory support among established factoring firms and development of a sustainable knowledge and learning platform to support factoring on the African continent. Afreximbank will contribute US$450,000 towards the technical assistance project.

Representing the African Development Bank, Senior Director in charge of the Nigerian Country Department, Ebrima FAAL emphasized the need for DFIs like to continue playing their role as enablers in enhancing Africa’s ability to financially support its SMEs to meet the demands of regional and global importers/exporters that trade on open account terms.

“Given the multisectoral impact of factoring in supporting businesses within agriculture, manufacturing, telecoms, power generation, partnering with AfreximBank is consistent with our strategic focus as represented under the High 5s namely: Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, Light Up Africa, Industrialize Africa and Improve the standard of living of the people of Africa,” FAAL said.

Abuja holds a special place in the history of Afreximbank as this is where, together with other African governments and key private sector institutions, the Bank helped lay the foundation for the establishment of this institution in 1993.

Mandated to stimulate consistent expansion, diversification and development of African trade, Afreximbank continues to be a significant partner to the Bank in its endeavor to deliver on its commitment to improve the living standards of African people through strategic and impactful trade finance instruments like factoring.

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