Nigerian bank customers have begun to report that their accounts have been closed. Some customers have begin to receive mails to notify them about their account closure based on the directive given by the Central Bank on the 5th of February 2020. In the circular released regarding the ban, banks were instructed to close all accounts of crypto exchangers and individuals who used their accounts for crypto-related operations. Few days later, banks like Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank have started to effect the directive of the ban. Accounts of crypto exchangers and individuals that use their accounts to trade in cryptocurrencies have begun to witness closure.
Some customers have raised alarm that they had only used their accounts once or twice for crypto-related operations in the distant past and still got their accounts closed.
An instance of the account closure saga is the case of on Mr James Chijindu who went to shop for food and groceries at a Lagos mall and got his Guaranty Trust Bank and First Bank debit cards declined. After reaching out to GTBank, he was informed that his account had been closed in accordance with CBN’s directive. However, as at the time of this writing, he was yet to get a response from First Bank and wasn’t sure if his account was closed too. According to him, he had not used his first bank account for any crypto-related operation. This left him with unanswered questions like if his BVN was used to block his account. This incidence raised concerns from bank users. Many people have begun to wonder if their other accounts that have not been used for crypto-related operations would get blocked because of the connection of BVN it shares with accounts that have been used for crypto-related operations.
Banks like Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank already sent notifications via email informing their customers of account closure in accordance to the Central Bank’s directive.
The imminent week promises to be filled with account closure as more banks effect the directive.