Those opposed to the proposed N100, 000 weekly cash withdrawal limit for individuals and N1, 000, 000 for corporate entities got a major relief yesterday. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reversed its initial policy.
The apex bank announced upward adjustments in the weekly cash withdrawal limit to N500, 000 for individual and N5 million for corporate bodies.
The policy shift was announced by the CBN Director in charge of Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa.
The review represents about 400 per cent increase, from N100, 000 and N1 million withdrawal limits set by the apex bank in its December 6 circular.
In a memo sent to “All Deposit Money Banks (DMBS) and Other Financial Institutions-Payment Service Banks (PSBs); Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs); Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) and Agents, Mustafa said the adjustments followed feedback received from stakeholders.
“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by Individuals and corporate organizations shall be N500, 000.00 and N5 million respectively.
“In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in above is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of three per cent and five per cent for individuals and corporate organizations respectively.”
The apex bank also directed that third party cheques above N100, 000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter. It said the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques subsists.
It further directed financial institutions, that where the limit set is to be exceeded, to obtain valid means of identification of the payee.
The bank listed the documents that can be used as National ID; International Passport; Driver’s License; Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the payee; Tax Identification Number (TIN) of both the payee and the payer from the customer, at the minimum.
It insisted that such means of identification must be uploaded on the portal created for such purpose by the CBN.
The apex bank also said approval in writing by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal will also be required for customers exceeding set cash withdrawal limit.
It said: “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, on-going customer due diligence, currency and suspicious transaction reporting etc. is mandatory in all circumstances.”
It added that customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.
The memo reads: “Bank 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 recognises 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 cash-less society.”
“All banks and OFIs are to note that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions. The above directives supersede that of December 6, 2022 and take effect nationwide.”
The adjusted directive takes effect nationwide from January 9, 2023, the circular said.