Banks Close 2million Accounts Over BVN, NIN, Others, In Q1 2024

….Record 4m Inactive Account

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Commercial banks in Nigeria closed no less than 2.021 million bank accounts in the first quarter of 2024, Q1’24.

The closure was informed by attempt to clean their books of questionable accounts and comply with regulatory orders on the linkage of bank accounts to the National Identity Number, NIN.

The disclosure was contained in a report by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, which also indicated that the number of inactive bank accounts grew month-on-month, MoM, by four million or 2.0 per cent to 19.7 million in March 2024 from 19.3 million in the previous month, February.

A bank account is classified as inactive when it records zero transactions including deposits, withdrawals, transfers or point-of-sale transactions for six months.

However, details of the “Industry Bank Account Database”, a monthly data reported by banks, and compiled by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, also indicated that the number of active bank accounts grew by 6.62 million or 3.0 per cent to 219.64 million from 213.02 million in February.

Recall that in December 2023, the CBN issued a directive to all commercial banks in the country to restrict tier-1 accounts without a proper Biometric Verification Number, BVN, and National Identity Number, NIN, that are not linked by Thursday, March 1st, 2024.

According to NIBSS data on BVN enrollment count, 61.6 million Nigerians have BVN as of April 2024.