CBN makes U-turn, increases withdrawal limit to 500,000 weekly
The CBN also warned all banks and other financial institutions that aiding and abetting circumvention of the new policy will attract severe sanctions.
In a circular issued by the apex bank on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, individuals will be allowed to withdraw up to N500,000 weekly across all channels, while the threshold for organisations is N5 million per week.
This comes barely two weeks after the CBN reduced the weekly over-the-counter cash withdrawal limits for individuals to N100,000 and that of corporate organisations to N500,000.
The apex bank also slashed withdrawals from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals to N20,000 daily.
Pulse reports that the policy generated mixed reactions from Nigerians, which prompted the National Assembly to wade into the matter.
The House of Representatives had ordered the suspension of the implementation of the policy and summoned the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before the Green Chamber.
Meanwhile, in the circular issued on Wednesday, the apex bank said the upward review was a result of the feedback received from stakeholders.
The circular read: “The CBN hereby makes the following reviews: (1) the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000.00 and N5,000,000.00 respectively.
“2. In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in (1) 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 same on the CBN portal created for the purpose: valid means of identification of the payee (national ID, international passport, or driver’s license), bank verification number of the payee, tax identification number of both the payee and the payer, and an 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 N10 million on clearing cheques still subsist.”
The CBN also instructed that monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the thresholds should be rendered to the banking supervision department, other financial institutions' supervision, and payments system management departments.
While acknowledging the the vital role that cash play in supporting underserved and rural communities, the apex bank said it would ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society.
The circular added: “Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to the KYC, ongoing customer due diligence and suspicious transaction reporting etc. is required 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.
“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."
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