For manipulating its foreign exchange policies, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday sanctioned 12 banks.
The CBN said the banks will be prevented from accessing it’s latest forex window. yesterday sanctioned 12 banks for manipulating its foreign exchange forex policies.
According to the CBN, the banks were sanctioned specifically for refusing to sell forex to genuine SMEs that met its requirements, The Nation reports.
Confirming the development, CBN Spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said only eight banks – Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank and Zenith Bank, sold forex to SMEs and were cleared by the regulator.
“Apart from these eight banks, the rest have been sanctioned,” Okorafor said.
He further explained that the banks refused to sell forex to the SME actors after accessing over $300 million offered to them via the SMEs wholesale forex window since its creation in April.
The SMEs Forex Window, which opened about three weeks ago, was designed to help SMEs import approved finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for an enterprise per quarter.
He also added that employees of the banks including their chief executive officers could be punished where necessary.
He said the central bank received series of complaints from bank customers, especially those that operate in the SMEs segment of the market on how banks are frustrating their efforts at getting forex.
He appealed to bank customers and the SMEs to not hesitate to inform the CBN when their attempts to get forex are turned down. “please give us concrete evidence against these banks so that we can hold them responsible by way of sanctions.”
“Get a photocopy of your Form Q, Form X, Form A or Form M. Give us the name of the bank, branch and send to us and we will deal with them as example to others.
“The only way to make things better for Nigerians is for them to report to the CBN whenever they are in trouble or are getting frustrated by banks
“We have a number you can call or you send an email to our Consumer Protection Department. We want to urge everyone who is frustrated by banks to call and lay complaints. We assure you that you will get redress.”