CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has stated that customers are now free to open accounts without deposits. This was contained in the Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2016/2017 guidelines posted by the CBN on its website. The CBN stated that the move was to encourage banks to improve their deposit mobilisation efforts while promoting the financial inclusion initiative. “The CBN shall continue to encourage banks to improve their deposit mobilization efforts. In line with the financial inclusion initiative, banks shall be required to allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts so as to make banking services accessible to the unbanked public. “Accordingly, banks are encouraged to develop new products that would improve access to credit and simplify their account opening processes, without compromising the Know-Your- Customer, KYC, requirements,” the guidelines indicated. “Financial institutions should not conduct any business with persons/entities who fail to properly identify themselves,” it added.

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