In continuation of efforts to stabilise the forex market, stem the rampant cases of forex leakages and illicit money transfers from Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all bureaux de change operators (BDCs) in the country to demand for customers’ bank verification number (BVN) for all forex transactions from November 1, 2015.
The central bank gave the directive in a circular posted on its website on Wednesday. The circular was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN, Kevin Amogu. The banking sector regulator also stated that from November 1, 2015, it would discontinue the sale of forex to the BDCs that had not availed it the BVNs of all its directors.
It explained: ” All banks and licenced BDCs operating in Nigeria as well as the general public are, therefore put on notice that with effect from November 1, 2015, all customers desiring to purchase forex through all available channels in Nigeria must provide their BVN, which shall be validated by the CBN authorised forex dealer through the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System platform before the transactions are consummated.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN shall from November 1, 2015, discontinue sale of forex to the BDCs that had not availed it the BVN of all its directors. Any authorised forex dealer that fails to provide the required information in its returns or provides a wrong BVN would be penalised and this may include the termination of the forex dealership authorisation.”
The BVN, project which was launched in February 2014 is being sponsored by the bankers’ committee. The deadline for enrolment of bank customers is October 31. The BVN was among other things, introduced to address safety of customers’ funds, avoid losses through compromise of personal identification numbers and other criminal activities in the industry.