CBN Rolls Out Guidelines on Legal Structures to DMBs, OFIs


To alleviate the risks of money laundering, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), over the weekend, announced it has developed a guidance on ultimate beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements.

This was even said in a tweet via the CBN’s verified page, reminding Nigerians that the old notes of N200, N500, and N1000 will cease to be legal tenders by the end of this month.

According to the circular which that was addressed to all deposit money banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions (OFIs), the bank noted that its Anti-Money Laundering system, that was put in place to combat the financing of terrorism and counter proliferation, financing of weapons of mass destruction in financial institutions Regulations for 2022, requires financial institutions to understand the structure of legal persons and legal arrangements and undertake customer due diligence measures to reduce the risks of money laundering, financing of terrorism and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It noted that financial institutions are required to unveil the beneficial owners of legal persons and legal arrangements in line with the provisions of extant AML/CFT laws and regulations. “Therefore, the CBN has developed a guidance on ultimate beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements to assist financial institutions in implementation of such measures. The guidance is hereby released for immediate compliance by all financial institutions under the supervisory purview of the CBN”, the circular said.

Barely 14 days to the deadline set by the CBN, to stop the circulation of the old Naira notes and retract them, there are strong indications that the CBN will not extend the deadline.

After the launch by President Muhammadu Buhari, of the redesigned notes of N200, N500 and N1000 on November 23, 2022, CBN set January 31 as deadline for all affected old currency notes to be deposited by customers in their various bank branches so as to pave way for the redesigned notes which went into circulation on December 15, 2022.

However, since that date, bank customers have continued to lament the scarcity of the three denominations as banks continued to dispense the old notes, complaining of CBN’s inability to supply adequate volumes of the new ones to be circulated to the business community and households across Nigeria.

This development has led to calls for an extension of time to allow Nigerians to gain access to the newly redesigned notes. The Senate unanimously urged the apex bank to extend the deadline for the return of the old currency from January 31, 2023, to June 30, 2023.

Several other stakeholders and prominent Nigerians have also called for the extension of the deadline, but it’s not looking like the CBN will bulge, especially considering its reminder tweet over the weekend.









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