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CBN Fines Access, Stanbic IBTC, UBA N800m For Allowing Customers’ Crypto Deals

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Emefiele Sick, Can't Meet With Reps - CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined Stanbic IBTC Bank, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa for permitting crypto transactions by customers in breach of a directive from the regulator last year, forbidding such deals, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

While Access Bank, the commercial banking division of the country’s biggest lender Access Holdings, which converted to a holding company this February, got N500 million in fine, Stanbic IBTC’s penalty was N200 million, according to the news outlet, which cited a disclosure at a virtual investor call arranged by the latter on Tuesday in Lagos.

CBN, sometime last February, embargoed cryptocurrency trading, going ahead to instruct banks to disallow transactions in it, noting they could trigger an exposure of the financial system to danger.

Wole Adeniyi, Stanbic IBTC’s chief, stated his bank heeded the order but admitted the two deals for which it is being punished is more of negligence than infringement as the transactions were processed through its system without the lender discovering it.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Opposes Emefiele On Cryptocurrencies

The industry watchdog spotted the transactions and their details, by way of an ultramodern surveillance technology currently exclusive to it.

United Bank for Africa, one of Nigeria’s five largest banks in asset terms, also shared in the regulator’s wrath, incurring a penalty of N100 million.

Adeniyi said lenders are in talks with the CBN to give them leave to use the software.

“It doesn’t seem that they are going to entertain a refund, but they are now sharing intelligence with us to be able to kind of deter clients,” he said.

Apart from the United States, Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is responsible for the biggest size of digital currency deals in the world, according to Paxful, which runs a platform for trading in Bitcoin.

The country is also home to the biggest proportion of retail users with transactions below $10,000, according to Chainalysis.

 

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BREAKING: CBN Increases Weekly Cash Withdrawal Limits

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BREAKING: CBN Increases Weekly Cash Withdrawal Limits

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday reviewed upwards the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million respectively.

The apex bank stated this in a circular issued Wednesday evening.

In an earlier circular it issued on December 6, the CBN had said that with effect from January 9, 2023, the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate organisations per week, will be N100,000 and N500,000 respectively, adding that withdrawals above these limits would attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

READ ALSO: New CBN Policy Imposes Penalties On Withdrawal Above N100,000, N500,000

It further stated that maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), from January 9, will be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

The apex bank also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs.

In addition, the CBN announced that maximum cash withdrawal via Point of Sales (PoS) terminals), from January 9, will be N20,000 daily.

 

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Buhari To Borrow N1tr From CBN, Seeks N819.5b Supplementary Budget

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Buhari To Borrow N1tr From CBN, Seeks N819.5b Supplementary Budget

President Muhmmadu Buhari has informed the House of Representatives that the government will take another N1 trillion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through ways and means.

He said the additional N1 trillion would take the total obligation to CBN to N23 trillion which the government seeks to convert to bonds.

The letter was referred to Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency, Loans, Aid and Grant.

Buhari also asked the House of Representatives to approve N819.5 billion supplementary budget for 2022.

In a letter read by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday, President Buhari said the budget would be financed with new domestic borrowing.

READ ALSO: Debt Profile Under Buhari Worrisome – CBN

He noted that if the supplementary budget was approved, it would take a total deficit in 2022 to N8.17 trillion.

Buhari explained that the country decided to explore a supplementary budget because of the impact of flood and the need to complete major roads that were at 85% completion.

“The president writes that 2022 has witnessed the worst flood incident in recent history which has caused massive destruction of farmlands at a point already close to harvest season, this may compound the situation of food security and nutrition in this country,” the letter reads.

He added that “The flood also devastated the road infrastructure across the 36 states and the FCT. It has affected several sections of major roads and bridges nationwide that are critical to the movement of goods and services. The water sector was equally affected by the flood, and there is a need to complete some ongoing projects that have achieved 85% completion across the country.”

The letter was referred to the House Committee on Appropriation for further legislative action.

 

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Why We May Withdraw Banks’ Foreign Exchange Dealership Licences – CBN

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Emefiele Sick, Can't Meet With Reps - CBN

Miffed by the violation of its diaspora remittance rules, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to revoke banks’ foreign exchange dealership licenses.

The CBN’s warning was contained in a circular by the Director, of the Trade and Exchange Department, Ozoemena Nnaji, that waa published on Monday.

In a bid to boost diaspora remittances, especially through the banking system, the CBN, in November 2020 circular to banks, had directed that beneficiaries of such remittances should be paid in dollars through the designated banks of their choice.

However, the apex bank, noted that some International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) engage in illegal activities through banks in violation of this directive, by paying diaspora remittances in Naira.

The circular stated: “The attention of the CBN has been drawn to the increasing illegal activities by Money Transfer Operators in Nigeria, through banks, by terminating payments in Naira contrary to extant regulations.

‘This unwholesome practice has some banks partnering with unlicensed international money transfer operators who disguise their transactions and terminate the same via local inter-bank transfers.

“Henceforth, any bank found to be aiding and abetting any IMTO or unlicensed operator in this activity would be appropriately sanctioned.

READ ALSO: New CBN Policy Imposes Penalties On Withdrawal Above N100,000, N500,000

“We also wish 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).

“For the avoidance of doubt, all banks and IMTOs are to pay out proceeds of diaspora remittance only in US Dollars and comply with the guidelines on International Money Transfer Operations published by the Bank.

“Any bank found to be aiding/collaborating with IMTOs in terminating remittances in naira will have their authorised dealership licence withdrawn.”

 

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