Connect with us


CBN tightens belt on banks: Declares FX gains off limits for dividends, operations



Olayemi Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clamped down on how banks can utilize foreign exchange (FX) revaluation gains.

In a recent directive, the CBN emphasized that these gains cannot be used to pay dividends to shareholders.

In a circular from the apex bank on Thursday signed by the acting Director, the Banking Supervision Department, Adetona Adedeji, banks were warned against such a move.

“Further to our letter dated September 1, 2023, referenced BSD/DIR/CON/LAB/16/020 on the above subject, the Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to reiterate that banks are required to exercise utmost prudence and set aside FCY revaluation gains as a counter-cyclical buffer to cushion any adverse movements in the FX rate.

“In this regard, banks shall not utilise such FX revaluation gains to pay dividends or meet operating expenses.”

READ ALSO:CBN to clear FX backlogs of remaining five banks in few days, says Cardoso

This move prioritizes financial stability within the banking sector. The CBN is urging banks to treat FX revaluation gains as a buffer against potential fluctuations in the exchange rate. These gains occur when the value of the Nigerian Naira strengthens against foreign currencies held by banks.

Traditionally, such gains could be seen as a source of additional profit, potentially leading to higher dividend payouts. However, the CBN argues that these gains are not sustainable and shouldn’t be distributed as dividends. Instead, the bank wants them held in reserve to provide a safety net if the Naira weakens in the future.

This new policy could impact both banks and investors. Banks will have less flexibility in how they utilize their profits. Investors hoping for larger dividend payouts may be disappointed.

The CBN’s decision reflects its commitment to safeguarding the Nigerian financial system. By requiring banks to hold onto these gains, the central bank aims to ensure that the banking sector remains resilient in the face of potential currency volatility.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now