Bank customers issued dud/dishoured cheques worth N166 billion last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday. CBN Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Y.B Duniya said in a circular to all banks and financial institutions, that over 167,507 dud cheques were issued by customers and processed by deposit money banks from January to December 2012.
He warned that henceforth, the CBN will forward the account details of erring customers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and prosecution.
Duniya said that the enormous volume of dishonoured cheques in the financial sector has shown no sign of abating. The implication of the development, he said, is the low confidence generated in the use of financial instruments which adversely affects the CBN’s cash-less policy aimed at reducing the volume of cash-based transactions and businesses in the country.
The CBN director said that over-indulgence of cash in the economy increases the cost of banking services, raise the incidence of crime and facilitate money laundering.
He said the CBN is collaborating with the financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to check the prevalence of dud cheques in the economy.
He advised financial institutions to ensure that prospective and existing customers pledge not to issue cheques against unfunded accounts. “By way of enforcement, financial institutions are required to monitor cheque transactions in their customers’ accounts in order to identify those customers that have issued cheques against unfunded accounts on three instances effective July 5,” he said.
The banks are also to render monthly report to Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN. They should also report on the affected customers’ profile, transaction history and attach copies of both the front and back of the financial instruments used.
Source: The Nation