- BVN: Banks Linked 36.8 Million Accounts
Banks across the country have linked 36.8 million bank accounts to the Bank Verification Number as of February 17, 2019, the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Scheme has shown.
According to the NIBSS, active bank accounts stood at 71.9 million. Meaning, 51 per cent of the total active numbers have been linked so far.
In 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with banks in the country introduced a centralised biometric identification system for the banking sector.
The biometric identification was launched to address fraud, identity theft and enhance the banking sector.
The NIBSS data revealed that a total of 25.97 million current accounts were opened by customers while savings account rose to 89.67 million as of January 2018. Bringing the total number of bank accounts to 118.9 million.
However, only 71.9 million bank accounts were active during the period under review.
Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, said the issue of abandoned bank accounts had always been a thing in the sector.
He was quoted as saying, “A common reason is the cumbersome procedure of complete closure of an account. Many people in a hurry will withdraw to the last kobo possible and move on, abandoning the account for good.
“There is also the dearth and the absence of knowledge of a bona fide heir to the estate or poor documentation for inheritance. In most cases, abandoned accounts carry relatively low balances compared to active ones, signifying lack of interest to pursue them. The banks, however, welcome such developments because the funds represent no-cost flow and eventual profits.”
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics put the total employees within the banking sector at 104,669 in the final quarter of 2018, while a total of 45,238 employees or 43.2 per cent of the total work-force were contract staff.