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

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CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate To 13%

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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CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate To 13%

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CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate To 13%

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised benchmark interest rate to 13 per cent.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, while reading the communique of the 142 meeting of the committee said the action was to tame the raising inflation rate in the country.

READ ALSO: CBN Warns Against Fresh COVID-19 Lockdown Retains Interest Rate At 11.5%

Emefiele, however, said the rate on development finance loans would remain at five per cent till 2023.

 

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CBN To Replace Paper Currency With E-Naira

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CBN To Replace Paper Currency With E-Naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged market men and women to sign into the e-Naira as paper currency will soon be out of circulation.

The Delta State Branch Controller of CBN, Mr Godwin Okafor, made the appeal on Friday at the popular Ogbogonogo market during the market sensitisation on e-Naira.
He urged traders to key into the Central Bank’s e-Naira policy.

He said: “We are here at the market today to sensitise the market people to the use of e-Naira. It is fully backed by CBN, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing.”

The consultant of CBN on e-Naira, Dr. Aminu Bizi, said Delta was chosen as the second state to sensitise market women to e-Naira after Lagos.

“We are here to sensitise market men and women, shop to shop on the use of e-Naira. CBN has gone behind ATM, POS, therefore, we are going to meet the Okada/tricycle union on this policy.

“Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money and people abuse the currency in the market, spraying on occasions, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing”

READ ALSO: Why Newly Launched E-naira Speed Wallet Disappeared From Google’s Play Store – CBN

He said the use of e-Naira was effective, charges free unlike ATM and POS and cannot be hacked by fraudsters.

In his remark, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, applauded CBN for the e-Naira initiative.

Ukah who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account in the office of SSG, Mr. Benson Ojoko, said the state was delighted with CBN programmes, describing e-Naira as a laudable programme that has placed Nigeria in international finance.

 

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Bitcoin Value Drops By 50% Since November Peak

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Bitcoin Value Drops By 50% Since November Peak

The value of Bitcoin has dropped below $31,000 (£25,140) – less than half of what it was at its peak last November, according to the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.

The fall of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value comes as stock markets around the world have also tumbled in recent days.

On Monday, key European, Asian and US indexes slid lower again.

Investors are fleeing riskier assets for safe havens like the dollar.

On Monday, Japan’s Nikkei index dropped 2.5%, while London’s FTSE 100 closed down more than 2%. In the US, the Dow fell nearly 2%, the S&P 500 dropped 3.2% and Nasdaq lost 4.3%, deepening the falls in recent weeks.

READ ALSO: Why It Is Unsafe To Invest In Bitcoin Now – American Billionaire

Uber was among the companies driving the declines.

Shares in the company dropped more than 11% on Monday after media outlets reported that chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi had warned staff that investors were becoming more cautious about investments. He said Uber would respond by cutting costs and slowing its hiring.

“It’s clear that the market is experiencing a seismic shift and we need to react accordingly,” he wrote in the letter.

“The average employee at Uber is barely over 30, which means you’ve spent your career in a long and unprecedented bull run. This next period will be different, and it will require a different approach.”

In times of market uncertainty traditional investors will often sell what they see as riskier assets – like digital currency – and move their money into safer investments.

Moves in cryptocurrency markets have increasingly followed wider trends, as professional investors, such as hedge funds and money managers, become more active in trading what was once the domain of individual investors and enthusiasts.

Bitcoin, which accounts for about a third of the cryptocurrency market with a total value of close to $570bn, has seen its price plunge more than 10% in the last day and more than 20% in the last week.

READ ALSO: Ukraine Becomes Latest Country To Legalize Bitcoin

Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world, has also fallen in value, down by more than 20% in the last week.

Volatile trading in digital assets has not been unusual in previous years, but much of 2022 had been relatively quiet for the cryptocurrency market.

Last week, central banks around the world, including the US, UK and Australia, raised interest rates as they attempt to tackle rising prices.

The US Federal Reserve raised its key lending rate by half a percentage point, marking its biggest rate hike in more than 20 years.

That has triggered more concerns among some investors that inflation and the higher cost of borrowing could have a major impact on global economic growth.

Investors are also worried about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world economy.

READ ALSO: CAR Becomes First African Country To Adopt Bitcoin

Meanwhile, in the last year Bitcoin has become legal tender in two countries – El Salvador and the Central African Republic.

Since El Salvador said it would allow consumers to use the cryptocurrency in all transactions, alongside the US dollar, the International Monetary Fund has urged it to reverse its decision.

. BBC

 

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