Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a very nice initiative in the Nigerian banking sector. For a nation without a mechanism of factually “knowing” its citizens, BVN offered a vista for banks to know their customers. With your biometric data in the banks’ database, they have a very good share of you!
Now, the banks are activating the BVN 2.0. The BVN 2.0 is the unification of debts. Yes, if you owe one bank, all banks in the nation can help that bank to get its money back: “… customers that you agree that should you default on the loan, the total amount of deposits you have across the banking industry would be applied towards repaying the loan.” I expect this to encourage banks to lend more.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks in the country have agreed that loan defaults will be settled using deposits made in other banks.
Addressing journalists after the Bankers Committee meeting on Monday, Aishah Ahmad, CBN’s deputy governor, financial services system, said the directive is to encourage banks to increase lending.
“We are not unaware of the challenges/reasons why credit has not been growing. Part of that was the appetite of banks to lend especially when you have customers that willingly refuse to pay their loans,” she said
“In this respect, we have come up with a new clause that will be included in the offer letters that will be granted going forward.
“This is going to be a credit risk protection clause. Basically, it will contain the BVN details and TIN of the customers and more or less it will be a commitment on the part of the customers that you agree that should you default on the loan, the total amount of deposits you have across the banking industry would be applied towards repaying the loan.
“This is not uncommon because banks already have rights of set-off within a bank. Which means you take money from a bank, the bank usually has a clause in the letter that allows your bank to repay your loan from the assets you have with the bank.
“This is just extending it across the industry.”