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Saturday, 02 March 2024 05:17

CBN Revokes Licences Of 4,173 BDCs Operators Over Non-Compliance, Regulatory Violations [FULL LIST]

CBN Revokes Operational Licenses Of 4,173 BDCs


 

The battle to shore up the value of the Naira and clean up the financial system continued yesterday with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoking the operating licences of 4,173 Bureaux De Change (BDC).

Invoking its powers under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, Act No. 5, and the Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015 (the Guidelines), the apex bank accused the affected BDCs of non-compliance with various regulatory provisions.


The allegations against them, according to the CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, are: failure to pay all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with Guidelines; non-rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines; and non-compliance with guidelines, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering (AML); Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Counter-Proliferation Financing (CPF) regulations.


The CBN said that in a bid to ensure better compliance and regulation of the Bureau de Change sector in Nigeria, it had embarked on revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for their operations.

“Once the revised guidelines are implemented, all stakeholders in the sector will be obligated to comply with the new requirements,” the CBN said.

It asked the public to take note of this development and follow the guidelines accordingly. The list of the affected Bureaux De Change operators can be found on the CBN’s website at www.cbn.gov.ng.

The revocation of the BDCs’ licences came just days after the CBN allowed BDC operators to resume forex transactions at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) – the official market, and released draft guidelines proposing significant changes to how BDCs operate.


Although the licence revocation has sent shock waves through the industry, observers of the financial sector seem not to have been surprised as the apex bank on Monday excluded the affected BDCs from access to dollar sales from the official market.

Of the 4,800 CBN-licenced BDCs, only 785 had access to forex from the official window on Monday after the apex bank resumed sale of dollars to the operators.

The CBN penultimate Friday raised the minimum capital requirements for BDC operators to N2 billion for Tier 1 licence holders and N500 million for a Tier 2 licence under the CBN’s revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau de Change (BDC) Operations.

Before now, a general licence cost N35 million.

The CBN and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier launched a clampdown on street trading of foreign exchange by BDCs, in a multi-pronged approach by the authorities to address perceived irregularities in the forex market.

Some BDC operators were accused of manipulating the forex exchange which is said to be largely responsible for the current state of the national currency.

Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Kano on Wednesday convicted and sentenced three illegal bureau de change operators to three years imprisonment for operating without a requisite licence.


The convicts, Umar Ibrahim Muhammad, Abubakar Yakubu Garba and Muhammad Tijjani, were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges of illegal dealing in foreign currency without an appropriate licence.

 

                                                                                                   

 

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