Bloc MFB receives an Approval-in-Principle from the CBN

Bloc Microfinance Bank has been granted an Approval-in-Principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Bloc MFB receives an Approval-in-Principle from the CBN
Bloc MFB

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) to Bloc Microfinance Bank, a subsidiary of Nigerian fintech startup, Bloc, allowing it to launch its banking services in Lagos, the country's commercial capital.

Edmund Olotu, founder and CEO of Bloc, says, “This sets the right tone for Bloc as a financial technology company and puts us on our path to global success.”

In Nigeria, the CBN grants an AIP to a proposed microfinance bank within three months of receiving its licence application. However, an AIP does not equate to a licence; rather, it is a prerequisite for incorporating the microfinance bank at the Corporate Affairs Commission. Following the successful completion of the incorporation process, a final operating licence will be issued.

With an MFB licence, Bloc’s banking as a service infrastructure will be able to issue proprietary virtual account numbers with advanced features for several use cases and improve how its users experience transfers in and out of their virtual bank accounts, allowing the startup to extend an all-improved banking experience to its users.

According to a statement seen by, all virtual bank accounts owned by Bloc MFB will be deposit-insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation. “We’ll continue to work closely with the CBN and other regulatory authorities to ensure that we are fully compliant every step of the way,” Olotu said

Bloc said it is integrated into the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and it has been listed on about 23 Nigerian banks and fintechs including First Bank, Zenith Bank, Kuda, Moniepoint and Opay. “We are working hard to make sure that we are available on all top-tier banks in the country,” according to a statement on its website.

In August, Bloc announced the launch of its business banking service stating that it is not only an infrastructure company but a full-service business bank for all businesses, with API infrastructure for some of them. According to Olotu, “With the service dubbed Bloc2.0B, we solved the access problem for all types of businesses by fundamentally changing how banking and payments happen for all companies while enabling them to deploy bespoke financial services that guarantee business growth and sustainability.”

Last year, Bloc acquired Orchestrate to power payment infrastructure in Africa. The acquisition was meant to enable Bloc to focus its core product strategy on delivering seamless BaaS & banking services while Orchestrate leads its FinTech Infrastructure with its proprietary payments orchestration API.

The fintech startup also announced the appointment of Oswald Osaretin Guobadia to assemble its board of advisors and directors in the same month. Guobadia is the former senior special assistant on digital transformation to former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari.

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