Commercial banks and other financial institutions operating in the country have been warned never to release Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of their customers without the presentation of a valid court order.
This directive was contained in a circular issued and signed last week by the Director of Banking and Payments System Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Dipo Fatokun.
The apex bank emphasised that any request for BVN information not accompanied with a court order should never be released to the applicant.
Mr Fatokun explained in the circular that the new directive became effective after the apex bank changed a section of the Framework, Eligibility for Access to the BVN.
According to him, “Section 1.6 of the Framework, Eligibility for Access to the BVN which states that, ‘The following entities may have access to BVN information, subject to the approval of the CBN,’ is hereby amended to read thus, ‘the following entities may have access to BVN information, after providing a valid Court Order, subject to the approval of the CBN’.
“Consequently, the CBN by this circular hereby informs all stakeholders that the provision of a valid court order is one of the pre-requisites for the release of BVN information to applicants.”
The new directive, which takes immediate effect, must be complied with by all banks, switches, mobile money operators, payment solution providers, microfinance banks and others.