CBN removes saving, withdrawal limits on domiciliary accounts

The Central Bank of Nigeria has lifted the limits placed on domiciliary accounts.

In a statement by the CBN on Sunday, the new regulation allowed account holders to deposit freely, have unrestricted access to funds in accounts, and make up to $10,000 withdrawals daily.

The statement was titled ‘CBN issues further guidance on operational changes to foreign exchange market’.

It read in part, “Ordinary domiciliary account holders shall have unfettered and unrestricted access to funds in their accounts. Domiciliary account holders are permitted to utilise cash deposits not exceeding $ 10,000 per day or its equivalent via telegraphic transfer.

DMBs shall provide returns to the CBN, including the ‘purpose’ for such transactions.

“Cash deposits into domiciliary accounts will not be restricted, subject to DMBs conducting proper KYC, due diligence and adhering to the spirit and letter of extant AML/CFT laws and other relevant rules and regulations.”

The PUNCH reported in May 2021 that banks had started placing new limits on transfers that domiciliary accounts holders could make from cash lodgements

A circular from one of the banks obtained by The PUNCH in 2021 stated, “The maximum limit for foreign currency transfers by cash deposits is now $5,000 per month

“This means that only a maximum of $5,000 monthly will be allowed for transfers if the source of funds is a cash deposit into a domiciliary account.

“Cash deposits of foreign currencies other than USD may be paid into domiciliary accounts (subject to an equivalent of $5,000 monthly limit) but will not be allowed for transfer purposes.”

However, the CBN limited this limit following a Bankers’ Committee meeting held to discuss the implementation and implications of the policy changes for the banking public.

According to the CBN, the policy changes aimed to promote transparency, liquidity, and price discovery in the FX market in order to improve FX supply, discourage speculation, enhance customer confidence and ensure overall stability in the FX market.

The statement also noted that all visible and invisible transactions (medicals, school fees, BTA/PTA, airline and other remittances) were eligible for the Investors’ and Exporters’ window.

Banks were urged to ensure expeditious processing of all eligible invisible transactions on behalf of their customers using the applicable rate at the I & E window

It was also stated that the CBN would prioritise orderly settlement of any committed FX forward transactions as they fall due in order to boost market confidence further.

It added that the CBN would normalise its Cash Reserve Ratio maintenance processes and ensure equity in its implementation across the banking industry, while engaging stakeholders as it implements the ongoing reforms

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