5 leading banks in Nigeria have had to pay a total $3.41 million to government agencies during the first half of 2021. This follows the ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria to all financial institutions against faciliting crypto payments in early part of H1 2021.
These banks include:
- Fidelity Bank
- Access Bank
- First City Monument Bank
Findings show that the penalties were as a result of contraventions and infractions of guidelines instituted by the Federal Government through the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), relevant CBN circulars, and other regulatory requirements.
BOFIA Act is the law that guides the finacial industry in Nigeria, with the Central Bank of Nigeria mandated to implement its provisions.
GTB paid a total sum of N692m as penalties to regulators in the first half of 2021.
According to a local publications, these were for two major infractions related to:
- Foreign exchange transactions carried out by betting and gaming companies ($6.29 million)
- Non-refund of interest on debit of non-interest related charges to non-funded accounts ($4, 860).
Fidelity bank paid $155.771 to the Central Bank for infractions realted to forex during the first half of 2021.
GTB was also sanctioned $2, 673 by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission for late filing of its audited financial statement from last year.
Access Bank was fined $448,359 by the CBN while SEC fined the bank $2, 430 during the review period.
UBA incurred regulatory sanctions of $675,577 in H1 2021. FCMB Group’s penalties rose from $365,006 paid to regulatory bodies in H1 2020 to $394,410 in H1 2021.
Meanwhile, CBN has continued a crackdown on forex trading.
Here are some of the measures from the recent past:
- In March 2021, CBN suspended foreign exchange sales to retail currency traders or BDCs (Bureau de Change)
- In August, CBN froze bank accounts of 4 fintech services for conducting forex trades without license
- In September, the bank went after AbokiFX, a site that lists parallel exchange rates, with the bank accusing it of manipulating prices