By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday decried the activities of some Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) which it said had been assisting their customers to evade the penal charges on the daily cash withdrawal and lodgment limits.
Specifically, the banking sector watchdog revealed that some commercial banks still performed cash collection services for some supermarkets and petrol stations, while others allow their customers to withdraw and deposit cash above the prescribed limits without charging the processing fee.
The CBN said these in a circular with reference number:
“BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/01/010,” dated August 2, 2012, a copy of which was posted on its website.
The circular titled: “Re: Industry Policy on Retail Cash Collection and Lodgment,” addressed to all DMBs, was signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun.
Thus, the apex bank warned that appropriate penalties should be strictly applied to erring institutions.
The cashless policy, which aims to reduce the dominance of cash in the system commenced in Lagos this January. It is expected to be extended to other states by next year.
The daily cumulative cash withdrawal/ deposit limit for individual accounts is N500, 000, while that for corporate accounts is N3 million. Penal fee for lodgment in individual accounts is three per cent above N500, 000 and for corporates, five per cent above N3 million. On the other hand, for cash deposit, it is two per cent above N500, 000 and three per cent for corporate accounts.
But the CBN said: “It has come to our notice that some DMBs aid and abet their customers to circumvent the policy. In particular, some DMBs still perform collection services for some supermarkets and petrol stations, while some allow their customers to withdraw/deposit cash above the free limits, without charging the processing fee.
“It is imperative to note that it is our collective responsibility to ensure the success of the cash-less initiative, due to its enormous benefits to the various stakeholders.
“It has therefore, become necessary to reiterate the need for strict compliance with all the components of the circular on the Industry Policy on Retail Cash Collection and Lodgement. Henceforth, appropriate penalties shall be strictly applied to erring institutions.”
The initial circular on the policy had also stated that banks would cease cash-in transit-lodgment services rendered to merchant-customers. In this regard, customers were asked to engage the services of the CBN licensed cash-in-transit (CIT) companies to aid cash movement to and from their banks at mutually agreed terms and conditions.
Meanwhile, in a separate letter titled: “Issuance of Anti-Money Laundering/Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), dated August 13, 2012, also posted on its website, the CBN said it had commenced the full implementation of its gazetted AML/CFT Risk Based Supervision (RBS) Framework 2011.
The letter signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Chris Chukwu, said: “This measure is further supported by the importance the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has attached to the Risk Based Approach to AML/CFT supervision in its Revised 40 Recommendations iussued on 16the February, 2012.
“You are,by this letter, requested to render AML/CFT returns on Forms 001 and 002 to CBN only with effect from the end of August 2012 and on forms 003 to 011 to both the CBN and NFIU at the appropriate period.”