By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has prescribed 26 sanctions, which includes payment of fines against banks that flout the Nigerian Bankers Clearing System (NBCS) rules.
The sanctions were contained in the revised NBCS rules released by the apex bank via a circular signed by the Director, Banking and Payments System Department, CBN, Dipo Fatokun.
According to the apex bank the objectives of the NBCS rules are to provide for efficient operation of Automated Clearing System, speedy and efficient collection of cheques, bills and other payment instruments payable or deliverable to member banks of the NBCS by a system or systems of clearing.
Also the new rule is to prescribe appropriate standards for the use of the NBCS; and to provide a mechanism and framework for the clearing and settlement of payment instruments among member banks.
On sanctions for flouting the NBCS rules, CBN said: “Transmission of data that is not in agreement with the images will attract a sanction of N1, 000 per item; Banks charging beneficiaries for Inward ACH credits except as prescribed by the CBN attracts 200 percent of the charge/fee subject to a minimum of N5, 000 to be charged per item against the bank; Delayed presentation of customers ACH instruments on the clearing system attracts a 10% of ACH item with a cap of N10,000 per payment instrument; A bank refusing to pay its own instrument drawn on itself (Manager’s Cheque/Draft) other than in cases of forgery or theft will pay10% flat charge of face value or N10,000 flat charge per cheque, whichever is higher. In addition, Paying Bank shall pay full instrument value to Presenting Bank.
“Presenting of Non-NUBAN transactions for clearing attracts a fine of N1, 000 per item; A member bank not treating (approve or reject) Direct Debit mandates within 48 hours of getting alerts is to pay a fine of N5, 000 per item per day; Frivolous return of Direct debit instruments, where valid mandate exists and customer has sufficient funds attracts a fine of N10,000 per item.
“Late transmission of clearing data i.e. where NIBSS had to delay the closure of a clearing session to accommodate late transmission by a bank attracts a fine of N50, 000 within the first hour and every N50, 000 for every additional hour; Presenting or Paying Bank that applies account maintenance charge on debit entries arising from returned cheques processing is to pay a fine of N10, 000 per item. In addition, refund of the charge to the customer; Undue delay in transmission of cheques valid for presentment attracts a fine of N10, 000 per item per day.”