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CBN releases GSI framework to check bad loans

CBN Headquarters

. Reduces charges for electronic transactions

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has released operational guidelines on the Global Service Instructions (GSI), to check the spate of bad loans in the banking sector.

According to a statement by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Chibuzo Efobi, the initiative is conceived to address recurring instances of wilful loan default in the industry.

Efobi said the move 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.

This is even as the apex bank announced a downward review of charges for electronic banking transactions in its revised guidelines to charges by Banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions effective from January 1.

CBN said the review is in response to “further evolution in the financial industry in the last few years, and to align charges with market developments.

Regarding the GSI, which was approved by the Bankers’ Committee in 2020, the industry regulator said it would also improve credit payment culture and reduce non-performing loans in the Nigerian banking system.

The review is in response to “further evolution in the financial industry in the last few years, and to align charges with market developments.

The circular reads in part: “Consequently, please be informed that the frequency of recovery attempts via the GSI platform has been amended from specific number to continuous and unrestricted number.”

It added 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.

It therefore urged members of the banking public to check the CBN website, www.cbn.gov.ng for perusal of the guidelines.

On the charges reduction also announced by Efobi, this included new sections on accountability/responsibility and a sanction regime to directly address instances of excess unapproved, (arbitrary) charges.

The guide provides a basis for the application of charges on various products and services offered by banks and other regulated institutions.

The guide was first released in 2004, and revised in 2013 and 2017 due to market developments such as new innovations in products and channels, as well as new industry participants.

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