Dollar Hoarding: Indicted Banks Respond to Allegations by CBN

Some of the banned 9 banks have began to respond to the forex ban by the apex bank of Nigeria for alleged hoarding of $2.1 billion Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Some banks on Wednesday clarified their positions on the alleged suspension from the foreign exchange market transaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged non-remittance of the NNPC dollar deposits.

The affected banks expressed their stance in statements and e-mails to customers on Wednesday in Lagos. The banks include the FirstBank Ltd., Fidelity, Keystone and Heritage.

FirstBank in a statement, said that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts were fully disclosed to the CBN. It said that accounts were being operated in line with the regulatory requirements.

The bank also said that tripartite documented discussions had been ongoing between the CBN, NNPC and the bank on the need for domestic retention of those balances.

It said that was as part of measures to ameliorate challenges posed by the lack of FX availability, and customers’ inability to source FX to fund their trade finance obligations to the bank.

The bank reassured all its stakeholders that the issue was not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance by the bank.

“We are confident in our ability to meet and honour all our obligations as at when due and are currently in talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies and are positive of an amicable resolution soonest,” said the bank.

Also, Fidelity Bank said it had repaid over 288 million dollars of those funds in line with the advised repayment schedule.

“We will like to clarify that these deposits were duly reported to the CBN by Fidelity Bank in line with the extant TSA requirements contrary to the erroneous view in certain media reports that the funds were concealed from the regulators.

“At the commencement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015, Fidelity bank advised NNPC and the regulators with a schedule of repayment for the NNPC/NLNG dividend dollar deposits.

“Please note that you can continue to operate your domiciliary account with Fidelity and this development will not affect your deposits/loans (local and foreign currency), remittances, transactional services and electronic banking services.

“Although the market condition remains quite challenging, we will continue to honour our obligations and operate with the highest level of corporate governance,’’ the bank said.

Credit: P.M News

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