CBN Approves 10 Digital Banks To Operate As Microfinance Bank in Nigeria, Sets New Rule

In a bid to checkmate the rush by banks and other financial institutions with the intention to convert or re-categorize their licenses, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released new guidelines.

The CBN, in a circular signed by Chibuzo Efobi, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, said the guidelines were drafted due to increasing requests from financial institutions to either upgrade or convert to other license regimes.

The regulator noted that the guidelines applied to commercial banks, Merchant Banks, Non-interest Banks, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks, Payment Service Banks (PSB), and other institutions.

Key Details Extracted From The CBN Guideline

CBN explained that while all banks or OFIs can change their license type, however, conditions must be met, or the request will be declined.

The apex bank noted that during application determination, the bank or OFI must avoid taking certain actions.

It also pointed out that the banks seeking conversion cannot expand or reduce their current banking network, introduce new products or services, or engage in any new strategic banking activities, except for settling rights and obligations in accordance with existing terms and conditions.

CBN continued: “Additionally, they cannot make any business decisions after the conversion process has begun, unless they align with the bank’s conversion strategy submitted to the CBN.

“The bank or OFI must also abstain from any banking activity specific to the proposed new license and comply with any other requirements that may be prescribed by the CBN from time to time.”

CBN also encourages financial institution operators to visit, and any comments or input should be addressed to the Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, with soft copies sent to within three (3) weeks from the date of this circular.

10 Digital Banks To Operate As MFBs and Issue PoS Services

Meanwhile, CBN has revealed that0 fintech companies that have achieved digital bank status and can operate as MFBs offer Point of Sales (PoS) services.

The banks are:

  1. Sofri
  2. Mint
  3. Piggyvest
  4. VFD
  5. Moniepoint
  6. FairMoney
  7. Carbon
  8. Kuda
  9. Eyowo
  10. Sparkle


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