CBN goes after loan defaulters in new operational guidelines

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend announced plans to place on its watch list the bank accounts of individuals who collected loans and have refused to honour terms and agreements.

CBN disclosed this in a new operational guidelines on the Global Standing Instructions (GSI) which it published on its website.

The GSI is aimed at checking the spate of bad loans within the banking sector.

According to the guidline signed by Chibuzo Efobi, for the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the apex bank, the initiative was conceived to address recurring instances of willful loan default in the industry.

Efobi said that the guidelines would enhance the establishment of a “watch list” and identify recalcitrant loan defaulters and enhance loan recovery from all eligible and funded accounts in the industry.

He added that it would also improve credit payment culture and reduce non-performing loans in the Nigerian banking system.

“Consequently, please be informed that the frequency of recovery attempts via the GSI platform has been amended from a specific number to a continuous and unrestricted number,’’ he said.

He said that the GSI automated loan recovery feature applicable to all loans in the industry shall remain perpetually in place throughout the life of the loan, or until it is fully repaid.

He urged members of the banking public to check the CBN website for perusal of the guidelines.

The GSI initiative was approved by the Bankers’ Committee at its meeting in February, 2020.

The CBN, thereafter, collaborated with relevant stakeholders to develop necessary protocols to facilitate implementation of the GSI, for eligible loans granted with effect from August 28, 2019.