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Cheques Can Now be Paid into Savings Accounts

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The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday released four new guidelines for the banking industry, top of which was an approval for bank customers to make cheque deposits into their savings accounts.

Prior to this development, bank customers could only make cheque deposits into their current accounts.

The new guidelines were contained in a circular posted on the CBN website and signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System, Mr. Dipo Fatokun.

The circular, which was directed to banks and other financial institutions, was dated July 28, 2016.

 Aside from this approval, the CBN also ordered banks and other financial institutions to remove fixed interest rate on credit cards.

The central bank directed the banks to henceforth begin to embed customers’ Bank Verification Numbers on their payment cards.

It also ordered the banks to discontinue actual address verification as a condition for account opening for customers with the BVN.

In approving cheque deposits into savings accounts, the apex bank limited the daily deposit to only N2m per customer in a day.

The CBN said the new guidelines were meant to strengthen the payment system and the banking sector.

The circular, with reference number BPS/DIR/GEN?CIR/03/005, read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria, in furtherance of its efforts at strengthening the Nigerian payment system, hereby issues the following directives: the removal of fixed interest on credit cards; and discontinuation of actual address verification in account openings for customers with the Bank Verification Number.

“Banks should begin to embed the BVN on all payment cards issued henceforth to facilitate off-line BVN verification and biometric-based customer authentication in such payment devices as the Automated Teller Machines, Point of Sale Terminal, kiosks etc.

“Savings account customers with the BVN should be allowed to deposit cheques not more than N2m in value into their savings account per, customer per day. Please, be guided and ensure strict compliance with the content of this circular.”

In another development, the CBN advised Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to beware of the unwholesome activities of some unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators in the country.

It said in a statement by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, that the warning had become necessary because of the activities of some unregistered IMTOs, whose modes of operation were detrimental to the Nigerian economy.

Okoroafor stated, “All financial service providers in Nigeria, just as in other jurisdictions, are required to be duly licensed in order to protect both customers and the financial system as well as to ensure the credibility of financial transactions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all licensed International Money Transfer Operators, in line with the CBN circular on the sale of foreign currency proceeds of July 22, 2016, are required to remit foreign currencies to their respective agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in naira to the beneficiaries, while the foreign currency proceeds are to be sold to Bureaux De Change operators for onward retail to end users.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria will, therefore, not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country’s foreign exchange regime.

“Accordingly, members of the public are advised to beware of the activities of such unregistered IMTOs for the greater economic good of Nigeria.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

Nigerian Banks’ Total Assets Rose by N11.15 Trillion

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the assets of Nigerian banks grew by N11.15 trillion to N64.32 trillion in the 12 months ended in April 2022.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the assets of Nigerian banks grew by N11.15 trillion to N64.32 trillion in the 12 months ended in April 2022.

In the report published by the apex bank, banks’ assets grew by 21% to N64.32 trillion in April 2022 from N53.17 trillion recorded in April 2021.

Kingsley Obiora, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, in his personal statement released by the CBN, said the growth was driven by balances with CBN/banks, OMO bills, and credit to the real sector of the economy.

He said, “The banking system remained sound, stable and resilient. Total assets of the banking industry grew by 20.97 per cent from N53.17tn in April 2021 to N64.32tn in April 2022, driven by balances with CBN/banks, OMO bills, and credit to the real sector of the economy.

“As a result, the total flow of credit to the economy increased to N26.10tn in April 2022 from N21.45tn in April 2021, representing an increase of 21.66 per cent.”

Obiora explained that credit flow increased in the following sectors, manufacturing, consumer credit, general commerce, information and communication and agriculture.

On non-performing loans, non-performing loans in the banking sector stood at 5.31% at the end of April 2022, slightly above the 5% target of the apex bank and better than the 5.89% recorded in April 2021.

CBN said the improvement was due to the restructuring of facilities, efficient recovery strategies and sound management practices by Other Depository Corporations.

Mr. Johnson Chukwu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, attributed the improvement to an increase in money in circulation.

He said, “One is the increase in money in circulation, and that increase is coming about because the Federal Government is borrowing by way and means and that is injecting liquidity into the economy and it will tremendously contribute to the level of currency in circulation, and ultimately the banking assets side.

“This is because given the level of financial inclusion, given that people hardly keep money at home, any significant increase in money in circulation will have an impact on the banks’ total assets.

“Secondly, the banks have actually seen a significant increase in loans. Loan creation also means money creation.”

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Banking Sector

Zenith Bank is Nigeria’s Best Commercial Bank for Second Consecutive Year

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has emerged as the best commercial bank in Nigeria for a second consecutive year at the World Finance Banking Awards 2022.

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Zenith Bank Award Presentation

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has emerged as the best commercial bank in Nigeria for a second consecutive year at the World Finance Banking Awards 2022. The leading bank was also named the best corporate governance bank.

The awards were in recognition of the bank’s sound digital transformation and best-in-class sustainability and corporate governance practices that over the years have led to a stellar business performance, even in a difficult economic climate like Nigeria.

At the awards presentation at the London Stock Exchange on Monday was the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu.

Speaking on the awards, Onyeagwu said “These awards reflect our strong business fundamentals, resilience and ability to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the market through our innovative solutions, as well as our commitment to global best practices. As a member and signatory to various domestic and international sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles, we continue to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating value for our shareholders, customers, clients, investors, communities and the environment through our practices, operations and investments.”

Onyeagwu went on to dedicate the awards to Jim Ovia, CON, the Founder and Group Chairman, for his pioneering role in building the structures and laying the foundation for an enduring and very successful institution; the Board for the outstanding leadership they provide; the staff for their commitment and dedication; and the bank’s customers for making Zenith Bank their preferred financial institution.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, with these latest accolades coming on the heels of several recognitions including being voted as Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards; and Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020. Also, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine and the Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.

Similarly, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020 and emerged winner in four categories at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa.

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Bank Account Ownership in Nigeria Increased to 45% – World Bank

The number of unbanked adults in Nigeria continues to decline as the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intensified financial inclusion efforts.

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The number of unbanked adults in Nigeria continues to decline as the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intensified financial inclusion efforts.

The percentage of adults with a bank account in Nigeria rose to 45% from 30%, according to the latest World Bank report titled ‘The Global Findex Database 2021’ obtained by Investors King.

The number includes all accounts with regulated financial institutions in Nigeria.

In part, the report reads, “Individual economies saw different rates of growth over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2021, economies such as Peru, South Africa, and Uganda drove up the average with account ownership increases of 25 percentage points or more.

“Uganda, in fact, saw its rate more than triple, from 20 per cent to 66 per cent. In India, account ownership more than doubled in the past decade, from 35 per cent in 2011 to 78 per cent in 2021. This outcome stemmed in part from an Indian government policy launched in 2014 that leveraged biometric identification cards to boost account ownership among unbanked adults.

“Other economies saw much smaller increases over longer periods. Pakistan, for example, grew by just 10 percentage points over the past decade, from 10 per cent in 2011 to 21 per cent in 2021. The Arab Republic of Egypt and Nigeria increased ownership by 18 percentage points and 16 percentage points, respectively—from 10 per cent to 27 per cent in Egypt, and from 30 per cent to 45 per cent in Nigeria.”

The Washington-based bank attributed the increase in account ownership in Nigeria and other African nations to growing mobile payment adoption.

It stated, “In Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021, 55 per cent of adults had an account, including 33 per cent of adults who had a mobile money account—the largest share of any region in the world and more than three times larger than the 10 per cent global average of mobile money account ownership.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is home to all 11 economies in which a larger share of adults only had a mobile money account rather than a bank or other financial institution account. The spread of mobile money accounts has created new opportunities to better serve women, poor people, and other groups who traditionally have been excluded from the formal financial system.”

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