The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has proposed that banks transfer unclaimed funds in accounts that have been dormant for up to 10 years into a trust fund account.

The Apex bank issued a new regulatory framework that will see it taking over billions of naira sitting in dormant accounts, warehousing it and investing the proceeds in treasury bills and other government securities.

The move comes in response to requests from banks and other stakeholders for the CBN to clarify the procedures for the management of dormant and inactive accounts by banks in the country.

Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System data recently showed that 191.4 million active bank accounts in the country stood at 133.5 million as of December, 2021.

The CBN in a circular dated 6th April and signed by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the apex bank, Chibuzor Efobi, said the guideline takes effect immediately.

The circular also called for inputs from stakeholders, which should be sent within three weeks.

In the new guidelines, the apex bank stated that any bank or financial institution that violates the provisions will face a penalty of no less than N2,000,000.

The central bank also warned that failure to adhere to its directives regarding any breach would result in an additional daily penalty of N200,000 until compliance is achieved or as decided by the central bank.

Story: Christy Dung