Forex Ban: CBN Directs Banks To Publish Names, BVNs Of Customers Who Fraudulently Obtain Forex
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all commercial banks to publish the names and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of customers who engage in fraudulent and unscrupulous practices to obtain foreign exchange from banks on their websites.
Both First Bank and United Bank for Africa have alerted their customers of the implementation of the CBN policy.
In a circular on Friday, First Bank, according to PeopleGazette, told its customers that it will no longer tolerate unethical practices geared towards manipulating the new CBN policy to illegally acquire forex.
CBN warned that it would publish names and BVNs of customers who present fraudulent travel documents or cancel their ticket without refunding the purchase Personal Travel Allowances (PTA) and Business Travel Allowances (BTA) within two weeks in line with CBN’s directives.
First Bank’s statement partly reads;
We have been directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to inform all our customers that unethical practices to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex, such as the presentation of false travel documents, visas, and the cancellation of flight tickets after purchasing personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA), will no longer be tolerated.
Defaulting customers who present fraudulent travel credentials or cancel their tickets and fail to refund the purchased PTA and BTA within two weeks, as stated in the signed customer declaration form, will have their identities and bank verification numbers (BVNs) published.
Also, United Bank of Africa (UBA) encouraged its customers to adhere to all CBN guidelines as directed.
An e-mail sent by the bank reads;
In line with our promise to keep you up to date on policies that may affect you, please note that the CBN has directed all banks to publish a list of PTA/BTA defaulters on their website.
Customers involved in fraudulent practices such as presenting fake visas or cancelling airline tickets after receiving PTA/BTA and failing to return the funds received to the bank within two weeks will have their details published (name and BVN) on our website.
It would be recalled that in July, CBN directed banks to set up teller points in designated branches to sell the dollar and other foreign currencies to meet the needs of both PTA and BTA for onward sale to customers.
The directive was sequel to CBN’s decision to discontinue the sale of forex to Nigerians through Bureau de Change operators.
Speaking after Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in July, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the ban was necessary because the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.
He accused the BDCs of going beyond their mandate of selling $5,000 per day and abusing the forex sector.
Bureau de change operators have long been a major black market, providing exchange rate support to those unable to formally access foreign currencies directly from the CBN.
The suspension of their ability to source foreign exchange from the CBN could have a significant impact on the country’s economy and bring naira under further pressure.