CBN Directs Banks to Acquire Customers’ Social Media Handles, Home Addresses, and More

In a recent development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a directive to all banks and financial institutions, requiring them to collect customers’ social media handles, residential addresses, and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN). According to a report by Gurustab, the apex bank has also mandated the institutions to gather additional information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, places of birth, and other vital details.

This directive has been outlined in the CBN’s newly released document titled ‘Central Bank of Nigeria (Customer Due Diligence) Regulations, 2023.’ The CBN states that this move is aimed at strengthening the identification process within the banking system as part of its customer due diligence regulations.

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The purpose of the new regulation is to ensure that financial institutions under the regulatory purview of the CBN comply with the relevant provisions of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act (MLPPA), 2022, Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act (TPPA), 2022, Central Bank of Nigeria (Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Financial Institutions) Regulations, 2022 (CBN AML, CFT and CPF Regulations), and international best practices.

Under the customer identification section, financial institutions are required to identify their customers, whether they are permanent or occasional, natural or legal persons, or legal arrangements. They must collect various information including the individual’s legal name, any other names used, permanent address (full physical address), residential address, telephone number, email address, social media handle, date and place of birth, Bank Verification Number, Tax Identification Number, nationality, occupation, public position held, and name of employer.

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The CBN also specifies that individuals must possess at least one valid form of identification, such as an unexpired passport, national identification card, residence permit, social security records, or driver’s license. Additionally, when opening an account, the type of account, nature of the banking relationship, signature, and politically exposed person status must be documented.

This directive aims to enhance the customer due diligence measures undertaken by financial institutions and align them with regulatory requirements and international best practices as outlined by the CBN.

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