CBN Asks Banks To Charge 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

CBN Asks Banks To Charge 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks operating in the country to start charging a cybersecurity levy on transactions.

A circular from the apex bank on Monday disclosed the implementation of the level would start two weeks from today.

The circular was directed at all commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, other financial institutions, mobile money operators and payment service providers.

Monday’s circular revealed that it was a follow-up on to an earlier one and letter dated June 25, 2018 (Ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/008) and October 5, 2018 (Ref: BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/11/023) respectively on compliance with the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015.

The CBN said that all banks, other financial institutions and payment service providers are now required to implement the directive, saying, “The levy shall be applied at the point of electronic transfer origination, then deducted and remitted by the financial institution. The deducted amount shall be reflected in the customer’s account with the narration. ‘Cybersecurity Levy’

“Deductions shall commence within two weeks from the date of this circular for all financial institutions and the monthly remittance of the levies collected in bulk to the NCF account domiciled at the CBN by the fifth business day of every subsequent month.”

Exempted from the levy include, loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank, Other Financial Institutions instructions to their correspondent banks, interbank placements, Banks’ transfers to CBN and vice-versa

The CBN in recent times has been making an effort to sanitise the financial sector. It recently issued a directive which barred fintechs from onboarding new customers. The fintechs have in turn warned their customers against engaging in crypto transactions on their platforms.

This came barely a week after the Federal Government has directed Deposit Money Banks to immediately begin the deduction of 0.375 per cent stamp duty charge on all mortgaged-backed loans and bonds.

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