Business

CBN directs banks to publish names, BVN of forex policy defaulters

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all commercial banks in the country to publish the names and bank verification numbers (BVN) of defaulters of forex policy.

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The apex bank gave the directive in a circular, signed by Haruna B. Mustapha, its director of banking supervision, on Monday.

This development comes a month after the apex bank halted FX sales to Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operators.

At the end of the CBN monetary policy committee meeting in July, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, alleged that the BDC operators have become conduits for illegal financial flows and money laundering in Nigeria.

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CBN said it would continue to channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate FX demands.

The apex bank further directed banks to set up teller points to meet legitimate foreign exchange (FX) demands.

Multiple banks have complied with the directive but some customers continue to fraudulent means to acquire forex at the banks.

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In the circular, the apex bank said defaulters of its forex policy are customers who engage in fraudulent and unscrupulous practices to obtain forex from banks.

Such practices include using fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of forex for personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA).

“The CBN has received and noted with concern reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel,” the circular reads.

“Some of these unwholesome practices include use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of PTA/BTA. This trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.

“Consequently, further to the various measures already put in place, all banks are hereby directed to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them.”

TheCable had reported that bank customers who present fake travel documents for forex requests are at risk of criminal prosecution by the CBN.

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