Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Banking Supervision, Ahmad Abdullahi, has threatened to sanction any Deposit Money Bank (DMB) in breach of its directive of March 3, instructing them to, among other things, open teller points for retail forex transactions and to have electronic display boards in all their branches, showing rates of all trading currencies.
Noting that the objective is to create awareness among members of the public regarding the availability of such facilities in branches of the banks at clearly disclosed prices, the CBN frowned at the banks for not complying with its directives.
A circular issued by the apex bank warned that the CBN would give stiff regulatory sanctions to banks that fail to comply fully with the earlier directive by October 13, 2017.
The CBN had directed banks and authorized dealers to open a teller point for retail forex transactions involving Personal Travel Allowance/Business Travel Allowance and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Such facilities would make it easy for their customers and other forex users to buy and sell forex in all locations and ensure access to foreign exchange without any hindrance.
The CBN had also directed commercial banks to have electronic display boards in all their branches, showing rates of all trading currencies, which it urged customers to insist on in processing their forex transactions for invisibles and the SMEs window.
“The CBN has given the erring banks a four-week period, expiring on October 13, 2017, to fully comply with its directives or face regulatory sanctions, which it noted include but not limited to being barred from all future CBN foreign exchange interventions,” the bank said.
The apex bank also said it will sustain forex interventions in the various sectors of the inter-bank foreign exchange market with the injection of $545 million.
Giving a breakdown of the bank’s latest forex injection, its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) received the largest intervention of $285 million.
Other components of the released figures include the $100 million offered for wholesale SMIS, $90 million for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) window and $70 million for invisibles such as Basic Travel Allowances, tuition fees and medical payments.