The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has proposed that banks transfer funds in accounts that have been dormant for up to 10 years into a Trust Fund account which will ultimately be invested in Treasury Bills.
This is contained in the just released exposure draft of guidelines on the Management of Dormant Accounts, Unclaimed Balances and Other Financial Assets in Banks and Other Financial Institutions In Nigeria.
According to a circular accompanying the exposure draft, the guideline was in response to requests from banks and other stakeholders for the CBN to clarify the procedures for the management of dormant and inactive accounts by banks in the country. The circular which was signed by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the apex bank, Chibuzor Efobi, also called for inputs which should be sent within three weeks.
The draft states that banks and Other financial institutions (OFIs) are expected to transfer all unclaimed balances in accounts that have been dormant for up to 10 years into an Unclaimed Balances Trust Fund (UBTF) pool account which will be domiciled at the CBN.
They are also expected to transfer unclaimed balances quarterly, not later than 15 days of the first month of the subsequent quarter; and retain all records of communication on the management of dormant accounts for a minimum of 10 years.
Banks and OFIs, by the guideline are to “maintain records of the beneficiaries of the unclaimed balances warehoused in the UBTF Pool Account; invest the funds in Nigerian treasury bills (NTBs) and other securities as may be approved by the ‘Unclaimed Balances Management Committee’; and refund the unclaimed funds to the beneficiaries not later than 10 working days from the date of receipt of the request.”