By Abubakar Yunusa
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has exempted microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) from paying processing fees for withdrawals above the cash withdrawal limits.
This is contained in a circular issued on Monday and signed by Musa Jimoh, director of payments system management department.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria hereby directs the exemption of microfinance banks and primary mortgage banks that provide banking services to the economically active poor from paying the processing fees for withdrawals above the cash withdrawal limits for direct cash withdrawals from their correspondent banks,” the circular reads.
“This is to enable them continue to play their expected roles in the economy and provide specialised retail banking services to their customers.
“Please, note that the microfinance and primary mortgage banks are required to fully comply with the cash withdrawal limits in serving their customers as per the circular with reference number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/073 dated December 21, 2022.
“Please be guided accordingly.”
In December 2022, the CBN directed deposit money banks and other financial institutions to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities per week do not exceed N100,000 and N500, 000, respectively.
However, due to mixed reactions from Nigerians, the apex bank increased the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.
The apex bank said in compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the specified limit is required for legitimate purposes, a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent will be charged for individual and corporate organisations, respectively.
According to the CBN, the aim is to boost the cashless policy and reduce the amount of cash outside the banking system.
The cash withdrawal policy commenced on January 9, 2023.