As the liquidation process begins for Heritage Bank following the revocation of its licence on Monday, customers will get up to ₦5 million ($3,313) as insured deposits, per NDIC guidelines. All customers with less than ₦5 million may get their deposits back as early as Wednesday, said one person familiar with the matter. 

“Depositors with funds in excess of the insured deposits will be paid as and when the assets of the closed bank are realised,” an excerpt from the NDIC’s notice read. 

The timing of Heritage Bank’s liquidation presents a silver lining for customers, as the national insurer only increased the insured deposit limit from ₦500,000 in May 2024. The increase was meant to inspire confidence in Nigeria’s banking sector and cover 99% of depositors in Nigeria. 

However, customers must submit documents such as proof of account ownership, verifiable means of identification, and alternate bank accounts to facilitate seamless verification and payment of their insured deposits. 

While customers might heave a sigh of relief, they will have questions about how the regulator allowed the troubled bank to operate for this long without intervention. In 2023, TechCabal reported that the bank’s customers could not withdraw their deposits for weeks. An employee of the bank also told TechCabal on Monday that the bank’s mobile app has been unavailable for two months, highlighting the bank’s struggles.

The NDIC will repay customers from the yearly premiums paid by the banks. For deposits beyond the ₦5 million threshold, the government-backed insurer will assess the bank’s assets and sell whatever it can. It will also recover their loans and sell whatever investments the bank has.

In May 2023, the NDIC began compensating customers of microfinance banks (MFBs) and primary mortgage banks (PMBs) whose licences were revoked by the CBN. Two of the most prominent banks affected by the CBN action are Eyowo Microfinance Bank, backed by Softcom, and Purple Microfinance Bank. At the time, some customers of the affected banks received a maximum payment of ₦200,000 upon proof that they held deposits.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox