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CBN to Warehouse Unclaimed Balances in Dormant Accounts

The Central Bank of Nigeria is in the process of warehousing all unclaimed balances in accounts which have been dormant for 10 years and above.  

in a circular with reference FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/001/071 dated April 6th 2023 issued to all banks and other financial institutions by its Financial Policy and Regulation Department(FPRD) , the apex bank made this known via a set of guidelines on the management of dormant accounts, unclaimed balances and other assets in their custody.

It explained that such balances constitute a huge source of fundsto the financial institutions for which the owners are not likely to get adequate compensation adding that they are susceptible to fraudulent transactions and abuse.

The accounts to be affected by this move include all accounts under the purview of the apex bank such as, Savings, Current and Term deposits in Naira; Domicillary accounts; deposits for the purchase of shares and mutual investments; prepaid card accounts and wallets; proceeds of uncleared or unpresentedfinancial instruments belonging to customers and non-customers of financial institutions; unclaimed salaries and wages, commissions and bonuses; proceeds of stale local and  foreign currency drafts not presented for payment. 

Others are, funds received from correspondent bank without sufficient details about the  beneficiaries ; judgement debt for which the judgement creditor has not made  a claim for the award and any other deposits or financial assets that may be designated by the CBN. 

Conversely, the following accounts are not affected by this decision: government accounts, accounts that are subject of litigation or under investigation by a regulatory authority or law enforcement agency as well as encumbered accounts including collaterals, liens and such like.

It is important to state that this intended action by the apex bank does not in any way amount to permanent closure of such accounts or confiscation of the balances as easy processes for reactivation and reclaim  of balances have been put in place.  

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