02 Jul BVN: How to get Compensation if your Account was Incorrectly Restricted

BVN: How to get Compensation if your Account was Incorrectly Blocked

If you successfully registered for your Biometric Verification Number (BVN) with your bank (and/or had the BVN linked to your other bank accounts) and access to your account was still blocked on November 1st 2015 for non-registration, then without mincing words, the block is potentially down to the negligence of the bank and its staff.

The CBN directive on BVN is quite clear, all bank customers are to register their BVN in order to meet Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, you have held up your part of the bargain, and your bank has not.

If your bank has incorrectly restricted access to your account, these are the steps you should follow:


  1. Locate your BVN number.
  1. Call your bank to inform them of the block on your account, and attempt to have it resolved by giving them your BVN number and having them link or verify it.
  1. If unable to resolve over the phone, go into the branch and attempt to resolve it, remember to remain courteous to the bank staff, there is nothing to be gained by employing aggressive behaviour towards the bank staff.
  1. Hopefully the issue is resolved in branch/over the phone. If the bank asks you to call back/come bank to the branch, ask them for specific timelines and note this down.
  1. Follow up until resolved.


Resolution is only the first part, the reality is that if you as a customer played your part in ensuring you registered /linked your BVN within the stipulated time frame, then you should not have to suffer for the ineptitude of the bank in not updating their records properly. The steps to follow to get compensation are: 

  1. Calculate how your time is worth. There are online tools to help with this like this one, or you can do a rough calculation (please keep it as a realistic one). You need to know how much your time is worth, as you will be requesting that the bank pay for your time spent in resolving the issue.
  1. Calculate how much time you spent trying to resolve the issue with the Bank, this should include time spent on the phone and time spent in the branch if you went in to have it resolved (including how much time you spent calculating how much your time is worth!).
  1. Calculate how much you spent on telephone calls (mobile phones will have the exact cost at the end of the call)
  1. Calculate how much you spent on transport to the branch (public transport fare or petrol). For petrol use Google to estimate the distance between your location to the bank branch and back in Miles, and then use this online tool to calculate what the average fuel consumption tool for your car is.
  1. Once you have all that information, add it all up and then you arrive at the figure of how much specifically the bank’s actions have cost you.
  1. Use one of the below templates to write a letter to the customer service department of the bank requesting compensation for the bank’s negligence.

BVN Complaint Letter if you registered in the Branch of the Bank

BVN Complaint Letter if you registered at another Bank but you linked your Account

Please note this exercise should not be viewed by you as way for you to make money off the whole episode, but it is a way for you to get you adequately compensated for the inconvenience. Hopefully the bank will respond and will give you the compensation. If this does not happen within a timely manner, you have the option to contact the Central Bank Consumer Protection Directorate at [email protected] or even engage the services of a lawyer and then request for your compensation and punitive damages.

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We hope you have found this information helpfulPlease note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer. If you would like to find out more about a consultation, you may click on the button below.

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