By Dipo Olowookere
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to suspend the foreign exchange (FX) licence of any bank found to have been involved in forex malpractices.
The central bank issued this threat in a circular dated Friday, September 10, 2021, and signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr O.S. Nnaji.
The notice said the FX licence of banks discovered to have participated in FX fraud would be suspended for not less than one year, advising deposit money banks (DMBs) to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations guiding forex sales.
FX shortage in the system has forced the apex bank to tighten its policies concerning transactions around foreign currencies in the country.
In late July, the bank, after its two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, announced the discontinuation of forex sale to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators over what it described as FX manipulations.
It also announced the suspension in the registration of new BDCs and these actions have put the Naira under undue pressure at the black market.
The exchange rate of the Nigerian currency against the greenback stood at N545/$1 at the close of business on Friday and the central bank is not happy about the situation, which is why it is taking steps to address the issue.
Because of its power to sanction banks as the nation’s regulatory agency for the banking industry, the CBN, which diverted the weekly FX sales to the financial institutions from the BDCs, has vowed to deal with lenders sabotaging the economy in its current investigations.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations could be suspended for at least one year,” a part of the disclosure stated.
The central bank disclosed that it was conducting “surveillance of our financial markets in general and the FX market in particular,” reminding “banks to desist from all and forms of FX malpractices.”
It emphasised that it was “their responsibility to not only know their customers (KYC requirements) but also know their customers’ business (KYCB requirements).”
The apex bank said it was issuing this warning “in view of recent occurrences in the market” and to remind them of their “responsibilities” as authorised forex traders.
When on July 27, 2021, the CBN ban FX sales to BDCs, it directed commercial banks to create a forex desk at their branches for the purpose of honouring genuine requests of retail customers with appropriate documents.
Standard Chartered Introduces Smart Business Loan
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A credit facility package targeted at small business owners in Nigeria called Smart Business Loan (SBL) has been introduced by Standard Chartered Bank.
The product was designed to help players in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector meet their short to medium-term needs. It is an unsecured instalment/term loan to business banking clients within key target sectors.
A statement from the lender explained that qualified business banking clients will be able to access up to N20 million loan without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase assets, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
The maximum tenor for the credit facility is two years, Business Post gathered.
Before now, customers were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank’s business banking segment but SBL provides the necessary flexibility to its clients.
“As a bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” the Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB), at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mr David Idoru, stated.
“Within our CPBB, the promotion of commerce is largely done through our business banking segment by banking SMEs.
“We are constantly looking for ways to ensure our clients get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive and SBL provides the necessary flexibility for business growth,” Mr Idoru added.
DLM Capital Praises Employees for Global Finance Award
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Employees of DLM Capital Group, a leading developmental investment bank in Nigeria, have been applauded for the award received by the company recently.
DLM Capital was named the Best Development Finance Company Nigeria 2021 by the Global Banking and Finance Review magazine.
The honour was in recognition of the institution’s dedication to providing leadership and excellence in Nigeria’s development finance space.
While commenting on the award, the Head of Investment Banking at DLM Capital, Mr Emeka Ngene, said the honour was made possible as a result of the continuous collaboration of the DLM community.
“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from such a prestigious body as Global Banking and Finance Awards.
“We are pleased to be associated with this award which speaks to our dedication and hard work in addition to the expertise and innovative solutions we have implemented over the years.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to designing and implementing developmental funding solutions for the development of the country.
“We are therefore dedicating this award to our team for their continuous support in ensuring that DLM Capital thrives in its pursuit to push the frontiers of developmental capital market solutions in the Nigerian financial ecosystem.
“We are delighted once again to have been identified for our accomplishments among other players across the continent,” he stated.
Since 2011, the Global Banking & Finance Awards has honoured companies that stand out in their various areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry, thereby recognizing the accomplishments and significant revolutions that emerge every year within the global finance community.
Ecobank Offers Back-to-School Loan Packages to Parents
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The desire to ease the financial burdens of parents and guardians as regards the payment of school fees of their children and wards for the 2021/2022 school year has made Ecobank Nigeria come up with affordable loan packages.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, explained that the introduction of the credit facility is in line with the lender’s overall strategy to support the development of the nation’s education sector.
A statement from the financial institution disclosed that the loan packages were designed under its back-to-school initiatives and are also available to school owners through special infrastructure loans.
“As a bank that has the interest of its customers at heart especially at this period when schools resume, we understand the importance of education. Children deserve to go to school and we are making it easy for parents to provide them with this basic right,” she said.
Speaking specifically on the loans available for the educational institutions, she noted that they could be accessed without bottlenecks as the bank has taken into cognisance the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi urged schools to appoint the bank as their preferred financial institution for payments and collections, noting that Ecobank has demonstrated pedigree and expertise in fees collection, locally and internationally.
She further encouraged schools and individuals that are yet to open Ecobank accounts to do so in order to access the offers available.
The banker also said Ecobank’s digital offerings are targeted at reducing the financial burden on parents, students and schools, and also facilitating the ease of payment of fees without hassles.
She listed the digital offerings to include Ecobank Mobile App, EcobankPay and Ecobank Online for contactless fees payment; personal loans and salary advance packages at competitive interest rates, international transfers for offshore school fees payment and affordable remittance offerings.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi also noted that families abroad who wish to send money home to help with fees can do so at zero charges on the Rapidtransfer app.
The bank has also provided the banking-for-school pack for educational institutions to access working capital and loans. The features of this pack include easy fee collections, zero charges on collection accounts with EcobankPay, secure online banking with Omni Lite and cards for easy payments.
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