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Nigerian banks release names, BVN of customers using lies to buy dollar cheaply

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Ten Nigerian banks have publicized the names and Bank Verification Numbers of over 1,000 customers who purchased dollars from them using fake visas and other deceptions.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in July instructed Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to publish names and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of customers who violated its Personal and Business Travel Allowance rules.

PTA/BTA is a foreign currency product that ensures customers who are traveling out of the country on personal or business trips have access to foreign currency at approved CBN rates.

The rates from the banks could be as low as N412/$ compared to N560/$ at the black market.

To stop Nigerians from cheating the system, CBN instructed that customers must return the purchased PTA/BTA within two weeks, if travel plans were canceled or risk getting their names accounts blacklisted, and details published.

This isn’t the first time the CBN has used a name-and-shame tactic; in the past, loan defaulters’ names have also been released.

A check by Ripples Nigeria showed Zenith bank, followed by Sterling Bank and Access Bank recorded most forex defaulting customers.

Read also: Nigerian banks discovered N122.8m worth of fake Naira notes in two years- Report

On its website, Zenith Bank listed 879 FX offenders, while Polaris Bank and Sterling Bank listed 54 and 52, respectively.

Access Bank had 24, Fidelity Bank had ten, First City Monument Bank had eight, Stanbic IBTC Bank had seven, Standard Charted Bank had four, United Bank for Africa had three, and Wema bank had one.

How the customers tricked the bank’s staff

Polaris Bank on its website noted that the 54 customers canceled their trip and failed to refund the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) sold to them despite follow-ups with them.

Sterling Bank revealed that after buying dollars its customers canceled their trip but failed to return the PTA availed them and several phone calls and messages proved abortive.

The Bank also showed that six of its customers presented fake visas or documents to apply for PTA.

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