The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to suspend the FX operational licence of any banks for a duration of at least one year if found to be involved in any form of foreign exchange (FX) malpractice.
This was contained in a circular signed by the Director of Trade and Exchange Department, O.S. Nnaji, on Friday.
The apex had announced some months ago that it would no longer offer FX to Bureaux De Change operators (BDCs).
The CBN accused BDC operators of going against the intended purpose of making forex available to its licenced operators, stating that they have become “agents that facilitate graft and corruption in the country”.
As an alternative, the CBN said it will henceforth channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate FX demands while mandating banks to sell forex to every customer.
According to the circular, the CBN advised banks to know their customers, including the line of businesses their customers operate.
“In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial market in general and the FX 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 circular reads.
“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any form of forex malpractice.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operations licence of any bank or banks that are found culpable with the ongoing investigation would be suspended at least for one year.”