E-dividend registration:  Banks dare CBN on signatory confirmation charges


Commercial banks have defied Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive on confirmation of signatory for investors that intend to register for Electronic-Dividend chaired by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The apex banking regulatory body had warned finance institutions to halt charging prospective investors who requested for confirmation of signatory.

According to Nigerian NewsDirect Investigation, some banks are frustrating the E-dividend registration by forcing investors to pay N500 for verification of a single share certificate, while charges range between N2,050 to N3,150 for confirmation of a client’s signature.

A senior bank official explained to Nigerian NewsDirect that finance institutions in the country were not set up for charity donations and currently operating in a challenging monetary and fiscal business environment.

The Head, Vertical Markets Group, Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) Mr. Samuel Oluyemi, confirmed banks’ failure to comply with CBN’s directive at the last Capital Market Committee Meeting (CMC) which was held during the weekend.

He noted that CBN’s Director of Payment Systems, Mr. Dipo Fatokun had warned not to charge investors on confirmation of signature.

According to him, “I am bold to quote the Director of Payment Systems Department of the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun.

“He addressed operators of the registrars of companies and banks who attended the committee of Heads of Banking Operations meeting in September that there was nothing called Signature Confirmation again.

“Quote me and say that Samuel Oluyemi of NIBSS quoted Fatokun as saying on September, 2016 meeting of the committee  of Heads of Banking Operations held at CIBN building in Victoria Island that banks should cease requesting for confirmation of account signatures and they should cease signing it when registrars  come to them.

“The Mandate Form Investors are filling is competing for E-Dividend registration. The moment Investor gets to his/her bank, banks are to collect it from investor and scan it on a system that will take it to a registrar for validation and then it comes to a repository which is shared between CBN and SEC.

“It is for investors to ask for their rights when they get to the banks. Some banks are still not aware that they don’t need to put Signature Verified on those forms.

“If a bank operative or CSO says the form I brought to him as an investor for mandating my account must be signed, tell him he does not know what he is talking about.

“He is supposed to collect that form from investor, confirm the account details, confirm Biometric Verification Number and then let the investor go.

“The Director also made it clear that submission of forms by proxy is allowed. Investor can submit mandate forms on behalf of someone.

“We got a consultant from Germany to put that portal in place. So, bankers’ confirmation is not required for you to manage your account,” he added.

The E-dividend portal which was launched by SEC last year had been designed for the use of banks and registrars to digitise the manual process of verification of investor’s account details and ensure efficiency in the enrolment process for E-dividend payment once declared by companies.