CBN orders Nigerian banks to migrate to new cheque standards, old ones to expire 31 December

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Nigerian banks are migrating in the New Year, into brand new cheque standards, on the order of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The new cheques with new standards will be effective from 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, the old cheques will expire, said the First Bank in a notification to customers.

Access Bank also told customers that the old cheques will not be accepted after 30 December.

The new cheques come with unique features. They have expiry dates and also have cheque digits included on the MICR code line.

The CBN has been working on moving to the new standard since 2018.

According to a circular dated 9 December which was sent to all deposit money banks, accredited cheque printers, and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System [NIBSS], only new cheques will be allowed in the clearing system from 1st January.

The circular was signed by Sam C. Okojere, director of the Banking Services Department.

The circular, however, gave some banks, which are unable to meet the 31 December switchover three months of grace, to comply.

This will be allowed if reasons for non-compliance were found to be satisfactory by the CBN management.

But the CBN said it will embark on full enforcement of the new cheque standards by 1 April 2021.

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