CBN Sanctions First Bank, GTB, Others Over Alleged Forex Infractions
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday barred 15 commercial banks from dealing in foreign exchange through the recently created Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) wholesale forex window.
According to the CBN, the decision which is with immediate effect is based on persistent complaints against the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and field monitoring reports.
The 15 banks sanctioned according to a higly placed source are First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Citibank, Ecobank, Enterprise Bank,Key Stone Bank, MainStreet Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, SunTrust Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, and Wema Bank.
CBN spokesperson, Mr I. Okorafor who confirmed the development but declined to identify the Banks explained that the CBN frowned at the action of the banks that refused to sell foreign exchange to SMEs to enable them import eligible finished and semi-finished items, despite the availability of forex from the CBN wholesale intervention window.
Okorafor said: “All banks that had refused to sell FOREX to the SME actors after accessing over $300 million offered to the SMEs wholesale forex window since its creation last month will be sanctioned accordingly”