NIGERIA:CBN Set to Unveil Framework for Agency Banking



JANUARY 9,2013


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the draft framework for agency banking will be released next month.

Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, disclosed this to THISDAY on Monday.

Agency banking refers to the delivery of financial services outside conventional bank branches. It entails the use of non-bank retail outlets that rely on technologies such as point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, mobile phones, amongst others.
The CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had said that the draft framework for the policy would be ready last December.

But the deputy governor explained that the delay in implementing the policy was because the apex bank had to integrate opinion of stakeholders in the framework.
Responding to enquiries from THISDAY, Lemo said: “The document is being fine-tuned. We are now incorporating the stakeholders’ views in the final document and the framework will be launched within a month.”

Sanusi had revealed that the banking sector regulator had been working on the number of agents to be engaged, the use of the Nigerian Postal Service, the relationship between the banks and telecommunication firms.

The CBN recently said the main objective of the proposed introduction of the three-tiered Know-Your Customer (KYC) system was to encourage agency banking as well as to promote financial inclusion in the economy.

According to the banking regulatory authority, it intended to use the proposed three-tiered KYC approach to implement flexible account opening requirements for low-level and low risk accounts that “are subject to caps and restrictions as the amount of transaction increases.”

It added: “It meant that account opening requirement would “increase progressively as restrictions on transactions are eased.”

The CBN had explained: “To facilitate the effective implementation of the proposed regime and achievement of the objective of financial inclusion, the three-tiered KYC approach envisages the use of bank agents and mobile banking portals to reach a wider segment of the society that otherwise have no access to financial services.”

The immediate Past President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, said at the weekend that for a successful financial inclusion to be achieved, the apex bank should come out with appropriate modalities for the establishment of agency banking in the country. He also urged the central bank to train personnel that would offer the service in the country.

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