Reviewing the CBN Guidelines On Global Standing Instructions (GSI)


On 13th July 2020, Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (the “CBN”) issued Guidelines on the Global Standing Instruction (the “Guidelines” or “GSI”) for individual accounts. According to the circular, the GSI has been issued for implementation with effect from August 1, 2020.

The CBN listed the 3 main objectives of the Global Standing Instruction as follows:

  1. Facilitating an improved credit repayment culture
  2. Reducing non-performing loans in the Nigerian Banking system
  3. Watch-listing consistent loan defaulters

These guidelines are expected to improve loan servicing and loan recovery in the Nigerian banking Industry. It is targeted at serial loan defaulters and has the objective to reduce non performing loans and improve the repayment of loans by borrowers.

The CBN policy provides that at the point of executing loan agreements, borrowers will be required to  execute a GSI mandate in favour of the participating financial institution (PFI) to serve as protection for the lending institution in the event the borrower defaults.

The GSI shall serve as a last resort by the PFI, without recourse to the borrower, to recover past due obligations (principal and accrued interests only, excluding any penal charges) from a defaulting borrower through a direct set-off from deposits or investments held in the borrower’s accounts with any other PFI.

The GSI will be triggered to enable recovery of unpaid loans (principal and interest). The GSI will be applied to the borrower’s other accounts with other institutions and the biometric verification number (BVN) system will be used to track these linked accounts in other financial institutions. These linked accounts can be the savings accounts, current accounts, domiciliary accounts, investment or deposit accounts, and electronic wallets (whether held individually or jointly) of the borrower with other institutions.

The full policy document is available on the CBN website:


  1. The recently released GSI (Global Standing Instructions) policy of the CBN means that all intending borrowers must prudently apply any loan they take judiciously to ensure they meet their loan repayment obligations. Gone are the days where borrowers default in one bank and keep funds in another…….the GSI allows lending financial institutions to go after the funds of such individuals in other banks. No hiding place for chronic loan defaulters..


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