A claim that commercial banks are deducting monies from unregistered community savings accounts is circulating on social media, particularly on WhatsApp.
The claim was made in an audio recording in circulation which shows a female voice alongside picture collage of a circular and a lady in yellow dress.
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The audio recording which was over four minutes address its audience in pidgin English.
The suspected lady’s voice stated that account holders of community savings accounts should provide their Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) certificate to upgrade their accounts or withdraw their funds from their various bank accounts to avoid allowing such funds to be wiped out by their host banks before the deadline.
The audio narrated:
…Any group of people wey open that account make dem come provide their CAC to the bank so them go sort am out. If not any money wey dem put for the bank go disappear whether na 5 million, 10 million, 50 million. This matter wey I dey tell you, no be something wey go still happen, e don dey happen. dem been give mandate. Read this thing wey I paste for you here na wetin the banks send to the affected people make dem go sort am out before now . They gave till the twelfth but e don dey happen already twelfth don pass…
The voice went on to say that some of the groups she belongs to are already been affected as the bank had already deducted their monies.
The audio added further: “e get some groups where i dey now wey our money don dey disappear. wetin you go dey see for the account balance na 00. Your account go dey there dem no go delete am . All your money don disappear.”
In Nigeria, a community savings account is an account that is targeted at unregistered entities with banking needs such as associations, Clubs, Societies, Church groups, Mosque groups, Estates (Residential) and so on.
Banks are seizing funds from unregistered community accounts.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is MISLEADING!
In July 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed that all commercial banks should close unregistered community accounts that was opened without a CAC Certificate be closed on or before July 12, 2022.
Some banks had proceeded to notify their customers with a circular, an example of which was in the video concerning the directive from the apex bank.
In the reports, the CBN had clarified that commercial banks were not given instructions to take money out of Community Associations’ savings accounts; rather they were asked to close the accounts as some banks hadn’t been complying with the mandate.
The apex bank’s mandate is to guarantee that the Nigerian banking industry complied with the Know Your Customer (KYC) standard.
The claim that commercial banks are seizing funds from unregistered community savings accounts is MISLEADING; findings revealed that the CBN directed all commercial banks last year to close community accounts that were opened without CAC Certificate. It didn’t ask commercial banks to seize holders funds.