CBN directs commercial banks to open dollar sales points

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all the deposit money banks to open teller points for the sale of dollars.

It has begun the refund of capital deposits and licensing fees to Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators who have pending licence applications with it.

In a circular, the apex bank said the decision followed the halt of the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs.

The CBN directed all Deposit Money Banks to stop accepting instructions from customers to transfer capital deposits of N35 million to designated CBN account for BDC licences.

It urged BDC promoters to forward their refund requests in writing to the director, financial policy and regulation department f the CBN in Abuja.

The CBN said the requests should be accompanied by a Telex copy of the capital deposit of N35 million; account details for the refund, which should be the same as the account from which the capital deposit originated, including the bank name, account name and account number.

BDC operators are also expected to submit a copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of licensing fee of N1 million (if any).

Speaking yesterday during a webinar to announce banks’ readiness for dollar sales in Lagos, chairman, Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the banking industry will carry out the CBN directive.

CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had announced the stoppage of weekly allocation to BDCs at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

He directed banks to sell personal travel allowances, business travel allowances, school and medical fees payments, among others.

CBN weekly interventions of $100 million will now go to the banks for meeting foreign exchange demands.

Emefiele had accused the BDCs of breaching regulatory guidelines, including engaging in money laundering.

Wigwe said the banks will take necessary measures to ensure compliance with foreign exchange sales guidelines set by the apex bank.

He said the banks have more than enough capacity in terms of branch network, manpower and technology to sell dollars to end-users.

“Banks have very strict compliance in terms of Know Your Customer and all of that. In terms of verification and making sure that people who apply are eligible, the banks more than any other institution are ready to do it.

“So, we are going to provide this service and make sure that we have various branches across the country and meet the requirements,” he said.

The Nation

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