By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated commercial banks to stop lending to firms without Tax Identification Number and individuals not having Bank Verification Number (BVN).
This was contained in its latest exposure draft on the review of the Prudential Guidelines, PG, for commercial, merchant and non-interest banks.
In a circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Kevin Amugo, the apex bank said the review was because the Nigerian banking landscape has experienced drastic changes caused by a range of issues since the extant guideline was issued in 2010.
Section 3.23 of the reviewed guidelines stated: “On lending to customers, banks shall not lend to corporate entities without TIN and individuals without BVN or individuals with BVN that are not resident in Nigeria. Banks that have existing exposure to such entities are required to wind down such exposures within 24 months from the effective date of these Guidelines.
“A bank that lends to any corporate entity without TIN and individuals without BVN or non-resident individuals with BVN from the effective date of these guidelines or a bank that fails to fully wind down its existing exposures to such entities by the date allowed above is in contravention of this regulation.
“In addition to any other sanctions that the CBN may impose, the amount of such exposure shall be deducted from the bank’s capital in computing capital adequacy ratio.”
Section 3.07 of the guidelines also stated: “On basic information on borrowers and minimum contents of credit files, banks shall obtain credit reports within 30 days prior to the disbursement of facilities from at least two credit bureaus before granting any facility to their customers.
“Banks shall provide evidence that a search has been conducted on the borrower in the CBN’s Credit Risk Management System (CRMS) database; obtain the BVN of individual borrowers and directors of corporate borrowers; obtain the TIN of corporate borrowers and; Obtain information on entities related to the borrowers.”
Meanwhile, the CBN yesterday warned Nigerians against loan offers on the various social media platforms. In a statement signed by Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, the apex bank stated: “The attention of CBN has been drawn to fraudulent messages in the social media circles requesting unsuspecting loan seekers and owners of small-scale businesses to apply for loans provided by the Federal Government through an e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) purportedly being handled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).