By Peter Egwuatu
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken moves to strengthen risk management in the financial services subsector categorized as Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), mainly mortgage banks, Finance Houses and micro-finance banks.
The move is aimed at taking holistic action against chronic debtors in the subsector.
The apex bank said that the move against bad debtors has equally prompted the need to extend its Credit Risk Management System (CRMS) to the OFIs in the country, after a successful implementation of the CRMS in the mainstream money banks.
This measure is contained in a circular titled, ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of Enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies, issued by the apex bank and signed by its Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kelvin Amugo.
CBN, in the circular noted that this policy is to help promote a safe and sound financial system in the country as well as prevent the bad debtors from undermining the banking system.
The circular reads, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.
With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CRMS platform.
‘‘Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis. OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions.
‘‘To ensure full compliance, OFIs are reminded to conclude the tagging of ALL life credits files for ALL individual and non-individual borrowers with BVN and TIN respectively by May 14, 2021.’’
The CRMS is web-enabled thereby allowing banks and other stakeholders to dial directly into the CRMS database for the purpose of rendering statutory returns or conducting status enquiry on borrowers.