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Court Order now prerequisite for release of BVN-CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set out a provision of a valid court Order as one of the pre-requisite for the release of Bank Verification Number (BVN) information to applicants.


The apex regulator in a memo to Money Deposit Banks and other financial institutions and signed by its Director, Banking and Payment System Department, Dipo Fatokun titled Amendment to the regulatory framework for the bank verification number operations and watch list for the Nigerian Banking Industry, said the amendment implementation is with immediate effect.

“Section 1.6 of the Framework: Eligibility for access to the BVN, which states that “The following entities may have access to BVN information, subject to the approval of the CBN”, is hereby amended to read thus; “The following entities may have access to BVN information, after providing a valid court order, subject to the approval of the CBN”, the memo read.


CBN on October18, 2017 through a circular referenced BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/010 said BVN operations and watch-lists for Nigerian financial system was necessary in the quest to develop and enhance security of electronic payment systems in the country

The Watch-list comprises a database of bank customers’ identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in confirmed fraudulent activities in the Nigerian banking industry.

The guideline stated that participants in the service which are grouped into five categories namely: the CBN, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and bank customers have access to the customers’ BVN. It further noted that entities that may have access to BVN information, subject to the approval of the CBN include: DMBs, OFIs, Mobile Money Operators, Payment Service Providers, Law enforcement agencies, Credit Bureaus and Other entities as applicable.


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