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CBN fines FCMB, Wema Bank, Fidelity N514.28 million for enabling cryptocurrency transactions

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CBN increases capital base for Microfinance banks by 900%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Wema Bank and Fidelity Bank over N514.28 million for enabling cryptocurrency transactions among cryptoasset traders.

Recall that the CBN-led Godwin Emefiele had issued a circular in February 2021, restricting banks from transacting with cryptocurrency traders, ordering the financial institutions to close crypto related accounts.

According to Ripples Nigeria findings from each bank’s Financial Statements for Full Year 2021, FCMB recorded the highest monetary fine last year, losing N400 million for housing four cryptocurrency accounts.

It was gathered that FCMB didn’t close the cryptocurrency accounts of Thanas fasio Experts, Quadrant Emergencia Golden Global, Cryset Limited and Royal Jingling Enterprise, as directed by the apex bank.

The financial regulator also sanctioned Wema Bank N100 million for enabling cryptocurrency transactions against its directive, while Fidelity was fined N14.28 million for the same offense.

Aside from the three aforementioned lenders, Ripples Nigeria had previously reported that Stanbic IBTC Bank, Access Bank Plc, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) received a monetary fine of N800 million for the crypto-related offense.

Read also: CBN extends 5% loan interest tenure by twelve months

During the same year, August 17, the CBN had froze the accounts of Fintech startups, Risevest and Bamboo for 180 days after securing an ex parte motion due to forex and cryptocurrency issue.

However, Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo, set aside CBN’s sanction on the Fintech firms, stating that the financial regulator can’t depend on its circular to freeze accounts of the startups, as the constitution doesn’t back the circular.

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