Nigeria: CBN imposes N5.8bn fine on four banks for violating Forex regulation
London, August 29, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The Central Bank of Nigeria has slammed fines totalling over N5 billion on four banks “for breaching Nigeria’s forex regulations” and asked MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to refund $8.134 billion.
All four banks – Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC, Citibank and Diamond Bank – were fined with regards to capital repatriation by telecoms giant MTN.
The Central Bank hit Standard Chartered with a N2.4 billion fine (N2,470,604,767.13), slammed a N1.8 billion (N1,885,852,847.45) fine on Stanbic IBTC. Citibank is to pay N1.2 billion fine (N1,265,541,562.31) while Diamond Bank was handed a N0.25 billion fine (N250 million).
The CBN imposed the sanctions on the banks which are under its regulatory purview for “flagrant violation of extant laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006”.
CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, explained in Abuja on Wednesday that the actions became necessary after allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and subsequent investigations carried out by the regulator in March 2018.
“The CBN has therefore asked the managements of the banks and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to immediately refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63, illegally repatriated by the company to the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the regulator said in a statement.
According to Mr Okorafor, the investigation took a while so that the CBN can carry out “thorough inquiry and give fair hearing to all parties involved”.
He urged banks and multinational companies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the provisions of all extant laws and regulations of the country in their foreign exchange transactions, warning that failure to do so would lead to sanctions