The Central Bank of Nigeria last week said that all transactions consummated by any licensed Bureau De Change operators in the country must have the Bank Verification Number of the customers.
The directive, which was contained in a circular issued by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Kevin Amugo, takes effect from August 1 this year.
The move is aimed at ensuring greater transparency in foreign exchange transactions handled by licensed BDC operators in the country.
The circular stated that the BVN information must be included in the returns made by the BDCs to the central bank.
In the case of a corporate organisation, the CBN directed that signature of the director of the company must be provided by the BDC.
It said any BDC that failed to provide this information would be penalised, noting that first offenders would be made to pay a fine of N1m.
The circular read in part, “This is to inform all licensed BDCs operating in Nigeria that with effect from August 1, 2015, all transactions consummated by a BDC must have the BVN of the customers. This information must be included in the returns to the CBN. In the case for corporate customers, the BVN of a director or an authorised signatory of the entity must be provided.
“Furthermore, all licensed BDCs are required to provide the BVN of their directors before the 15th of August, as failure to meet this requirement may affect their continued participation in the foreign exchange market.
“BDC operators should please note that any BDC that fails to provide the required information in its returns, or provides a wrong BVN, would be penalised.
“First offenders will be required to pay a fine of N1m, while any subsequent violation of the requirement may lead to the revocation of the operating licence of the BDC.”
To ensure a hitch free implementation of the new directive, the circular said the list of licensed BDCs would be provided by the central bank to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System.
This, it added, would enable the NIBSS provide the necessary hardware token that would be used by the BDCs in accessing the NIBSS website, adding that a fee of N100 would be paid for each access on the portal.