Despite awareness, over 25m bank customers yet to enroll for BVN

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…Account holders linked with BVN hit 46.1m
…As banks record N19.77bn fraud, forgery cases in 6 months

Not less than 25.7million bank customers are yet to be captured in the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) exercise as at June 30, 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed. The apex bank stated that 64 per cent or 46.1 million from 71.8 million active bank customers’ accounts have been linked to the BVN, as at June, 2018.

To address this challenge and complement the existing means of identification of customers, which include: the Driver’s Licence; the International Passport; the National Identity Card; and the Permanent Voter’s Card; the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, launched the Bank Verification Number (BVN) Project in February 2014.

The CBN. in its economic report for the first half of 2018, noted that fraud and forgery cases reported by banks hit 20,768 in the half-year of 2018 from 16,762 fraud and forgery cases reported in 2017. The CBN fraud and forgery (attempted and successful) value was valued at N19.77 billion.

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The report by CBN stated that fraud and forgery incidences were perpetrated by both bank staff and non-bank culprits. “The cases involved armed robbery attacks, fraudulent ATM withdrawals, defalcation, illegal funds transfer, pilfering of cash, stealing, suppression, and conversion of customers’ deposits,” the report by CBN explained.

According to the report, it received 1,439 complaints from consumers of financial services in the first half of 2018, compared with the 1,141 in the corresponding period of 2017. “The complaints were, mainly, in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorized deductions/ transfers, among others.

A total of 2,451 complaints, including those outstanding from 2017, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,270 complaints resolved in the corresponding period of 2017. “Total claims in the review period in local and foreign currencies amounted to N20.5 billion, $163,479.00, £2,889.98 and €32.82, compared with N14.72 billion, US$2.42 million and €6,940.00, in the corresponding period of 2017.

“The sum of N6.80 billion, $119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were refunded by financial institutions to their customers, compared with the sum of N7.21 billion, $2.40 million and €6,940.00, refunded in the corresponding period of 2017,” the apex bank stated.

The report explained further that aggregate foreign exchange supply by the Bank to the inter-bank and Bureau De Exchange (BDC) segments amounted to $3.20 billion and $3.17 billion in the review period, respectively, compared with $4.01 billion and $1.20 billion, in the corresponding period of 2017.

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The half-year report stated: “This showed a decrease of 20.2 per cent in total sales to the interbank, but an increase of 163.4 per cent to the BDC segment, relative to the levels in the corresponding period of 2017. The significant increase in BDC sales, reflected the Bank’s policy to increase the supply of foreign exchange to small end-users.”

The report disclosed that $65.84 billion was the aggregate foreign exchange inflow into the economy in the first half of 2018. This, according to CBN, indicates an increase of 15.4 and 87.9 per cent above the levels in the second and first halves of 2017, respectively.

Of the total, inflow through autonomous sources accounted for 53.6 per cent, while that through the CBN accounted for 46.4 per cent. The report on foreign exchange inflow states: “Foreign exchange inflow through autonomous sources, at $35.30 billion in the first half of 2018, increased by 14.5 and 85.7 per cent, compared with $30.84 billion and $19.01 billion, respectively, in the second and first halves of 2017.

The increase was driven, largely, by improvement in non-oil export receipts and invisible purchases, above their levels in the preceding and corresponding period of 2017. “Foreign exchange inflow through the CBN amounted to $30.54 billion, an increase of 16.4 and 90.6 per cent, above the levels in the second and first halves of 2017. “

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A further analysis of foreign exchange inflow through the Bank, indicated that crude oil receipts, at $7.13 billion, rose by 20.0 and 60.7 per cent, respectively, over the levels in the second and first halves of 2017. “Non-oil receipts through the Bank increased by 15.4 and 102.0 per cent to $23.41 billion, above the respective levels in the preceding and the corresponding period of 2017.

The development was due, largely, to: increase in proceeds from government debt instruments at US$2.50 billion; interbank swaps, $3.33 billion; and foreign exchange purchases, $7.16 billion.”

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