CBN bows to pressures, raises cash withdrawal limits

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has raised its weekly cash withdrawal limits set for individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.

The earlier limits pegged individual cash withdrawals per week at N100,000; while corporate organisations were limited to weekly withdrawals of N500,000.

The reviewed limits under the new policy were contained in a circular number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/073 and dated December 21, 2022.

The circular by the Director of Banking Supervision, Mr Haruna Mustapha.

According to the CBN, any withdrawal above the set limits must be approved by the Managing Director of the bank in writing.

It added that Third Party Cheques above N1 million will not be eligible for over-the-counter withdrawal.

The apex bank warned that any bank that connives with its customers to circumvent the policy would face severe sanctions.

The circular reads in part: “Following our circular BSD/DIRIPUB/LAB/015/069 dated December 6, 2022, on the above subject and based on feedback received from stakeholders, the CBN, hereby makes the following reviews:

“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5,000,000, respectively.

“In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in (1) above is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of three per cent and five per cent for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively.

“Further to (2) above, the financial institution shall obtain the following information from the customer, at the minimum, and upload the same on the CBN portal created for the purpose.

a. Valid means of identification of the payee (National ID, International Passport, or Driver’s License); Bank Verification Number, BVN, of the payee; Tax Identification Number, TIN, of both the payee and the payer; Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal.

“Third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while the extant limit of N10million on clearing cheques still subsists.

“Kindly further note the following: “Monthly, returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision and Payments System Management Departments as applicable.

“Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing Customer due diligence, CDD, currency and suspicious transaction reporting, STR etc., is mandatory in all circumstances.

“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions.

“Bank and Mobile Money Agents are important participants in the financial system, enabling access to financial services in underserved and rural communities. They will continue to perform these strategic functions, in line with existing regulations governing their activities.

“The CBN recognises the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and will ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cash-less society.

“All banks and OFls are to note that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.

“The above directives supersede that of December 6, 2022, and take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023.”