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Commercial banks close 2m accounts over BVN, NIN, and others

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Commercial banks in Nigeria closed 2.021 million bank accounts in the first quarter of 2024, Q1 ’24, to clean their books of questionable accounts and adhere to regulatory orders on linking bank accounts to the National Identity Number, NIN.

This is noted in a report by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, which also showed that the number of inactive bank accounts increased 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 said to be 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 revealed that the number of active bank accounts increased by 6.62 million or 3.0 per cent to 219.64 million from 213.02 million in February.

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

As noted by NIBSS data on BVN enrollment count, 61.6 million Nigerians have BVN as of April 2024.

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