The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has readmitted United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc into the foreign exchange (forex) market after the commercial bank hurriedly remitted the NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits with it into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Both CBN and UBA confirmed the reinstatement of the bank into the forex market.
“We are pleased to inform our valued customers, stakeholders and business partners as well as the general public that the CBN has re-admitted us into the foreign exchange market following our remittance of all NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits,” UBA stated.
The CBN stated that UBA would be readmitted with effect from Thursday, August 25.
“Further to the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to return all outstanding unremitted NNPC/NLNG foreign currency, this is to confirm that the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has remitted all outstanding NNPC/NLNG deposits in its possession to NNPC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the CBN.
“Accordingly, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has been re-admitted into the Foreign Exchange Market effective Thursday, August 25, 2016,” the apex bank stated in a statement signed by director of banking supervision, Tokunbo Martins.
Meanwhile, some other banks that were barred from the forex market by the CBN over the alleged non-remittance of the NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits into the TSA have denied any allegation of concealment of the said funds.
In separate statements, First Bank of Nigeria, Sterling Bank and FCMB Group stated that the CBN was aware of the dollar funds and they maintained all extant banking rules and best practices operating the dollar accounts.
The banks said they have opened talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies to find amicable resolution to the issue soonest.
First Bank stated that it had complied with the TSA policy requirements in line with the Federal Government’s directive and continues to remit funds received as and when due.
“It is pertinent to state here that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts are fully disclosed to the CBN and are being operated in line with the regulatory requirements, whilst tripartite documented discussions have been ongoing between the CBN, NNPC and the Bank on the need for domestic retention of those balances as part of measures to ameliorate challenges posed by the lack of forex availability, and customers inability to source forex to fund their trade finance obligations to the bank,” First Bank stated.
According to First Bank, the issue is not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance as it has the ability to meet and honour all its obligations as and when due.
Sterling Bank stated that it unequivocally rejects the suggestion that it failed or neglected to disclose at any time, any sum held on behalf of its clients to the regulatory authorities as such balances were fully captured in the relevant regulatory returns.
The bank stated that it went beyond the basic requirement of disclosure and reporting to holding several meetings with the parties involved, noting that while the current situation is a broader sector issue arising from the foreign currency illiquidity in the domestic banking sector, it has continued to work with its client and the banking regulator to resolve the situation in the shortest possible time.
“We would like to restate that the bank at all times reported the balances involved to the Central Bank and at no time concealed or refused to remit the funds as documented in several written correspondences,” Sterling Bank stated.
Sterling bank noted that arising from its continuing efforts, it has reduced the outstanding sum to the current level within a very short period.
“As an institution built on the core values of integrity and sound corporate governance, Sterling Bank has always complied with all regulatory and other operating requirements and the TSA regulation is no exception to this proud record,” Sterling Bank stated.
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