NOVA Bank Risks CBN’s Sanction As EFCC Picks Top Officials

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may sanction NOVA Merchant Bank Limited, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the financial institution’s Chairman Phillips Oduoza and its Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nath Ude.

BizWatch Nigeria learnt that officials of the anti-graft agency stormed the head office of NOVA Bank situated at 23, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday, June 10, 2022, and picked up Oduoza and Ude for investigation and possible prosecution.

“EFCC is at NOVA bank to pick up the Chairman and MD on fraud. They are being investigated because a staff wrote a petition on fraud relating to the conversion of tax, dollar round-tripping,” a report quoted a source as saying.

Should NOVA Bank be worried?

In view of the irregularities in the foreign exchange (Forex) market, dollar round-tripping is a serious crime that the central bank may not look away from.

Four years ago, CBN commenced the monitoring of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to ensure their compliance with the regulations of the foreign exchange market. This, it was understood, was a move to ensure an end to round-tripping where banks divert forex obtained from the apex bank at the official rate to the black market for higher profits.

Vowing that CBN would continue to restrict the activities of illegal forex dealers, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the apex bank warned that anyone caught buying forex for Personal Travel purposes and later canceling such trips, would be severely dealt with.

“People buy forex from banks with PTA/BTA and cancel the flight later. We will find them and they must return the currency,” Emefiele had maintained.

About NOVA Bank

It is an investment-grade merchant bank in Nigeria that offers an integrated suite of financial solutions covering Wholesale Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading, Wealth Management, Trade Services, Transaction Banking, Cash Management, and Digital Banking.

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