by BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos –
Tough times await fraudsters doing business in the country, as they can now be restricted from the Nigerian banking industry from five to 10 years, while fraudsters at large will be barred from banks.
From now on, they will not be allowed to do any transaction through electronic channels, such as Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, including issuance of third-party cheques.
According to the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) Operations and Watch-List for the Nigerian Banking Industry released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), even fraudsters who have not committed monetary infractions would be blacklisted.
The framework stipulates: “A watch-listed individual shall not be allowed to enter into new relationship with any bank and a bank may choose not to continue business relationship with account holder on the watch-list.
“Where a bank chooses to continue an existing business relationship with holders of account on the watch-list, the account holder shall be prohibited from all e-channels, such as ATM, POS, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, including issuance of third-party cheques.
“A watch-listed customer shall not provide reference to another customer, neither shall he/she be allowed access to credit facility or guarantee credit facilities. A watch-listed individual shall remain in the watch-list for a period as specified in the penalty table.
“In the event of a reoccurrence, the tenure shall begin to count from year one. Penalties that applied to watch-listed customers shall apply to all accounts that he or she is a signatory to”.
The framework categorised forgery, compromise, complicity, fraudulent duplicate enrolment and any fraudulent infraction without monetary value as category 0 and the culprit would be restricted from baking services for five years.
Meanwhile, confirmed successful fraud with monetary value and customers who have been watch-listed more than twice categorised under 1 and 2 respectively will be restricted for up to 10 years.
Category 2 individuals will however have their transactions limited to the branch where it is domiciled.
However, individuals who committed fraud and are at large, categorised as 99, will aside the other restrictions have a Post-No-Debit flag on all the accounts linked to the individuals’ BVN.
The CBN had in 2014 launched the BVN, with intent of helping to combat identity theft and fraud in the banking sector.
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