Forex: CBN to sanction erring banks

Banks involved in any form of foreign exchange infraction risk their forex operational license being suspended for at least one year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned.

The Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, OS Nnaji,  Friday, disclosed this in a letter to all banks in the country.

Prompted by reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new the CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel, the bank on August 31, directed all commercial banks to publish on their websites the names and Bank Verification Numbers of customers who fraudulently obtain foreign exchange from banks.

 Nnaji said the punishment will be for anyone found at the end of the ongoing investigations to be culpable of infractions involving foreign exchange malpractices.

In the letter titled “Observance of Due Diligence In the Processing of Foreign Exchange Transactions,” the CBN pointed out the importance of the banks taking responsibility for not only knowing their customers but also knowing the kind of businesses their customers are involved in.

 “In line with the continuing close surveillance of our foreign markets in general and the foreign exchange market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only know their customers (KYC requirements) but also know their customers’ business KYCB requirements,” the letter said.

“Given these responsibilities, and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind us to desist from all and any forms of FX malpractices.

“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations would be suspended for at least one year.”

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