Central Bank Amends Cash Withdrawal Policy, Increases Weekly limits

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CBN amends cash withdrawal policy, raises weekly limits

The upward review comes after the National Assembly asked the bank to considerably adjust the withdrawal limits in response to public outcry on the policy.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has reviewed upward the limit on cash withdrawals made by individuals and organisations.

Ahead of the distribution of the redesigned naira notes, the bank had on December 6 announced a new policy limiting over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities to N100, 000 and N500, 000, respectively, per week.

The upward review comes after the National Assembly asked the bank to considerably adjust the withdrawal limits in response to public outcry on the policy.

The new directive which was communicated through a letter addressed to all banks, and signed on Wednesday by the Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, now allows individuals to withdraw up to N500,000 weekly and organisations, N5 million weekly. The initial limit was N100,000 for individuals.

In the event of compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal exceeds the limits required for legitimate purposes, such requests will attract a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively.

And in such cases, the financial institutions are directed to obtain some information from the customer, at the minimum, and upload the same on the CBN portal created for the purpose.

The information includes a valid means of identification of the payee (National ID, International Passport, or Driver’s License); Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee; Tax Identification Number (TIN) of both the payee and the payer; and the approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal.

It also said third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsist.

“Monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision and Payments System Management Departments as applicable.

“Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence, currency and suspicious transaction reporting, etc. is mandatory in all circumstances.

“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions,” CBN said.

It said banks and mobile money agents are important participants in the financial system, enabling access to financial services in underserved and rural communities.

“They will continue to perform these strategic functions, in line with existing regulations governing their activities.

“The CBN recognizes the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and will ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society.”

It warned of severe sanctions against banks abetting the new directive.

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By Abia ThinkTank

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