4 Nigerian Banks Penalized, MTN to Refund $8b

4 Nigerian Banks Penalized, MTN to Refund $8b

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has imposed heavy sanctions totaling N5.87 billion on four banks under its regulatory purview and asked same to refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63 for what it described as ‘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’.

The four banks that have come under the sledge hammer of the CBN for the violations are Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Citibank, and Diamond Bank.
Announcing the decision in Abuja on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said that the actions of the Bank became necessary following 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 apex bank 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.

Figures obtained from the CBN on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, indicate that the highest fine of N2,470,604,767.13 was slammed on Standard Chartered Bank, while Stanbic IBTC Nigeria was fined the sum of N1,885,852,847.45. For its punishment, Citibank Nigeria was penalized in the sum of N1,265,541,562.31, just as Diamond Bank was directed to pay the sum of N250 million for violating extant rules.

The CBN Spokesman further disclosed that the decision of the Bank followed thorough investigations by it into the allegations of remittances by the four banks of forex with irregular certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

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