The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to mop up funds in dormant accounts of customers in various banks in the country. This is coming after the apex bank issued new guidelines to commercial banks on the operations of dormant accounts which have received no deposit nor withdrawal for upwards of one year. In a circular to all banks and other financial institutions (OFIs), the CBN via its guidelines on the management of dormant accounts, unclaimed balances and other financial assets in banks and OFIs, said, it will open a pool account to warehouse all funds left in dormant savings, current and domiciliary accounts. The bank also said it will open and maintain an account earmarked for the purpose of warehousing unclaimed balances in eligible accounts adding that the account shall be called Unclaimed Balances Trust Fund (UBTF) Pool Account. Stating reasons behind the UBTF pool account, the CBN noted that dormant and unclaimed accounts are now targets of fraudsters. The CBN said it would invest the warehoused funds in T-Bills and other interest-yielding ventures and return the profits to the owners of the accounts upon reactivation.“Customers seeking to reactivate dormant accounts to provide evidence of account ownership, valid means of identification, evidence of the present place of residence, and an affidavit on the accuracy of the information to reactivate the account. The dormant accounts shall be reopened and the funds including interest rates should be returned to the owner upon request within two days,” It said. The bank further directed commercial banks to continue paying interest into dormant accounts and maintain period communications with account owners via emails, SMS and other necessary mediums. The apex bank thereafter said that it will monitor and enforce compliance of financial institutions with the guidelines through off-site surveillance as well as on-site routine and target examinations. “A contravention of any provision of the Guidelines shall attract a penalty of not less than N2 million. Failure to comply with CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N200,000 daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by CBN”., It said.

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