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CBN Digitalizes MFB Licencing

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CEM REPORT, FINANCE | Moving with the trend of digitalisation the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has digitalised the process of applying for a microfinance bank (MFB) licence.

The apex bank has launched a portal known as the CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP) which will replace the current manual process wherein prospective applicants for MFB licenses.

According to a press release signed by the bank’s Director for Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, the regulator through the portal intends to cut down on paperwork and expedite licence approval.

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The statement added that the portal is enhanced with robust security measures adding that it is user-friendly and time effective.

Additionally, CBN noted that interested MFB applicants should from September 25, 2023, prospective log on to www.larp.cbn.gov.ng to submit their respective MFB licence applications.

More so, applicants for MFB licence are still required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run.

However, the hardcopy application must also note a valid application reference from the online submission to be accepted.

Notably, the parallel run will end on December 31, 2023. Thereafter, manual submissions of hardcopy MFB licenser applications will no longer be required and accepted.

CBN also noted that in due course it will digitise other categories of licences.

The statement reads;

CBN Unveils Licensing, Approvals And Other Requests Portal (LARP)

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new online platform for submission of microfinance bank (MFB) licence applications, known as the CBN Licensing, Approval and Other Requests Portal (CBN LARP). The new online platform will eventually replace the current manual process wherein prospective applicants for MFB licence physically submit their applications to the CBN. In due course, the Bank will extend the platform to other categories of licences.

“The online application system offers numerous benefits, including a simplified process, time savings, enhanced communication, and robust security measures. By digitising the application process, the Bank aims to improve accessibility, reduce paperwork, and expedite licence approvals, benefiting both applicants and the economy.

“Consequently, with effect from September 25, 2023, MFB licence applicants are required to submit both hardcopy and online applications (via the CBN LARP) as part of a parallel run.

“The cover letter submitting the hardcopy application must also note a valid application reference from the online submission to be accepted.

“The parallel run will end on December 31, 2023. Thereafter, manual submissions of hardcopy MFB licence applications will no longer be required and accepted.

“From September 25, 2023, prospective MFB applicants are urged to log on to www.larp.cbn.gov.ng to submit their respective MFB licence applications. Help and detailed guidance are available within CBN LARP to assist users in navigating the new platform. A user guide can also be downloaded from the platform.

“Applicants may contact the dedicated helpdesk via email at cbnlarp-helpdesk@cbn.gov.ng for further information.

“Meanwhile, please note that the Bank shall continue to accept manual applications for all other licence types until further notice.”

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