e abands honed their bank accounts majorly due to
MORE Nigerianave abands honed the find ir bank accounts majorly due to economic hardship caused by sluggish economic growth, rising job losses and reduction in purchasing power occasioned by double digit inflation.
Statistics from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS, showed that Nigerians abandoned 10 million bank accounts in 2018. NIBSS is owned by all Nigerian banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
According to the company, the number of bank accounts abandoned by bank customers and hence categorised as house ‘inactive bank accounts’ rose by 28 percent to 46.7 million in 2018 from 36.7 million in 2017.
According to the CBN 2015 guidelines on dormant accounts, “An account shall become inactive if there has been no custome business r or depositor-initiated transaction for a period of six months after the last customer or depositor initiated transaction.”
This implies that in just one year, ten million bank accounts recorded zero transactions.
Financial Vanguard analysis also showed a steady growth in the number of inactive bank accounts between 2014 and 2018.
According to NIBSS, inactive bank accounts grew faster than active bank accounts in the past five years, 2014 to 2018.
During this period, inactive bank accounts grew by 73 percent while active bank accounts grew by 35 percent. While inactive bank accounts increased by 19.61 million to 46.7 million in 2018 from 27.09 million in 2014, active bank accounts rose by 24.75 million to 71.2 million in 2018 from 46.45 million in 2014.
Financial Vanguard investigations and the comments from both bankers and bank customers, indicate that factors responsible for the steady and huge growth in the number of inactive bank accounts are many and varied. These include ownership of multiple bank accounts by some bank customers, breakdown in bank-customer relationship, Biometric Verification Number (BVN) issues, incomplete account opening documentation and Know Your Customer, KYC, challenges as well as increased efforts against money laundering and other financial frauds by banks and the regulatory authorities.