The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday warned loan seekers and owners of small-scale businesses to beware of fraudulent loan offers purportedly by the Federal Government.
The CBN spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement that the masterminds of the fraud ask their potential victims to apply for loans provided by the federal government through an e-mail address.
The CBN statement read: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to fraudulent messages in the social media circles requesting unsuspecting loan seekers and owners of small-scale businesses to apply for loans provided by the Federal Government through an e-mail address purportedly being handled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“While the CBN, indeed, has several development finance intervention programmes from which different categories of businesses have benefitted (and still benefit), the Bank DOES NOT do so through direct interaction with prospective applicants.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are clearly spelt out procedures for accessing CBN intervention funds, which are disbursed through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), such as Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs).
“Members of the public, particularly youth and owners of small-scale businesses are therefore advised to disregard any message requesting them to send their personal details, including mobile phone numbers, to emails such as [email protected] or any other one that may be contrived. These messages are fake and anyone who enters into correspondence with them does so at his or her own risk.
Meanwhile, an end may have finally come to predatory borrowers in the nation’s banking sector as the Bankers’ Committee has given its nod to the confiscation of debtors’ deposits in other banks to offset their obligations to lenders.
This was the outcome of the 346th meeting of the Committee Monday, in Lagos, which reiterated its concern on the low level of credit in the banking industry and the urgent need to expand loan facilities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), retail and mortgage sectors with a view to growing the economy.
Addressing the media at the end of the meeting, Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS), Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, in company of the Director of Banking Supervision, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi; the Managing Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Unity Bank; Mr. Segun Agbaje, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said the directive was aimed at encouraging banks to increase lending to the economy.
Mrs. Ahmad said: “We are not unaware of the challenges/reasons why credit to the economy has not been growing. Part of that was the appetite of banks to lend especially when you have customers that willingly refuse to pay their loans. In this respect, we have come up with a new clause that will be included in the offer letters that will be granted going forward.
“What are the challenges, what are the factors affecting banks’ ability or willingness to lend.
“This is going to be a credit risk protection clause that will be in offer letters going forward. Basically, it will contain the Bank Verification (BVN) details and Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the customers.
It will more or less be a commitment on the part of the customers taking the loans that by taking the loan you agree to repay the loans; and that you also agree that should you default on the loan, the total amount of deposits you have across the banking industry would be applied towards repaying the loan.