Senate Queries CBN Over Bureau De Change Licence Cancellation

The Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to explain in a detailed report why the licences of 20 bureau de change operators were revoked.

This is contained in a letter titled ‘Revocation of Licences of Twenty Bureaux De Change (BDC),’ dated November 13, which was addressed to the governor.

Chairman of the committee, Bassey Edet Otu, expressed particular concern over the revocation of the licence owned by the First Bank of Nigeria, FBN.

The letter read: “You may recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently revoked the operating licences of 20 Bureaux de Change in the country. The reason advanced for this measure include; (1) Failure to render returns on the utilisation of foreign exchange purchase and (2) Inability to provide documentary evidence that their purchases were utilised for eligible transactions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011  and other guidelines.”

“However, it is very sad to note that the FBN BDC, owned by the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of the leading deposit banks that is expected to lead by example, is involved in this unethical and unprofessional conduct. As a result of this development, there has been persistent public outcry and call for an investigative hearing on the matter.”

It added: “In the interim, this distinguished committee saddled with the oversight responsibility in the banking and allied industry hereby requests you to forward a detailed report on the entire cancellation of the BDC licences and the involvement of the FBN BDC in the whole matter.”

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On September 26, the CBN released the names of 20 bureau de change operators whose licences were revoked for alleged foreign exchange malpractices.

The names of those affected include: FBN BDC, Amity Global BDC Ltd., Haruna A. Rahaman BDC, Majia BDC, Ahali BDC Ltd, Lawabash BDC Ltd, Bin Dahuud BDC, Garin Gabas BDC, D&D BDC, Fatahul BDC Ltd, Global Payments BDC, Startime BDC, Plannet Ventures BDC Ltd, Fadima BDC Ltd, Optimum BDC Ltd, Secon BDC Ltd., Asabana BDC Ltd., Maiksal BDC Ltd and Alim BDC Ltd.

The Apex Bank governor said that the affected operators bought dollars from commercial banks without accounting for what the dollars were needed for, nor the purchasers of the money and that they would be prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for money laundering.

Sanusi said independent investigations carried out by the CBN revealed that that commercial banks were importing billions of US dollars in the country for onward sale to the affected BDCs and that Nigeria had taken over from Russian as the highest importer of U.S. dollars in the world.

He said the effect of this is the fall of the nation’s local currency at the foreign exchange market.

Senate Queries CBN Over Bureau De Change Licence Cancellation

The Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to explain in a detailed report why the licences of 20 bureau de change operators were revoked.

 
This is contained in a letter titled ‘Revocation of Licences of Twenty Bureaux De Change (BDC),’ dated November 13, which was addressed to the governor.
 
Chairman of the committee, Bassey Edet Otu, expressed particular concern over the revocation of the licence owned by the First Bank of Nigeria, FBN.
 
The letter read: “You may recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently revoked the operating licences of 20 Bureaux de Change in the country. The reason advanced for this measure include; (1) Failure to render returns on the utilisation of foreign exchange purchase and (2) Inability to provide documentary evidence that their purchases were utilised for eligible transactions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011  and other guidelines.”
 
“However, it is very sad to note that the FBN BDC, owned by the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of the leading deposit banks that is expected to lead by example, is involved in this unethical and unprofessional conduct. As a result of this development, there has been persistent public outcry and call for an investigative hearing on the matter.”
 
It added: “In the interim, this distinguished committee saddled with the oversight responsibility in the banking and allied industry hereby requests you to forward a detailed report on the entire cancellation of the BDC licences and the involvement of the FBN BDC in the whole matter.”
 
On September 26, the CBN released the names of 20 bureau de change operators whose licences were revoked for alleged foreign exchange malpractices.
 
The names of those affected include: FBN BDC, Amity Global BDC Ltd., Haruna A. Rahaman BDC, Majia BDC, Ahali BDC Ltd, Lawabash BDC Ltd, Bin Dahuud BDC, Garin Gabas BDC, D&D BDC, Fatahul BDC Ltd, Global Payments BDC, Startime BDC, Plannet Ventures BDC Ltd, Fadima BDC Ltd, Optimum BDC Ltd, Secon BDC Ltd., Asabana BDC Ltd., Maiksal BDC Ltd and Alim BDC Ltd.
 
The Apex Bank governor said that the affected operators bought dollars from commercial banks without accounting for what the dollars were needed for, nor the purchasers of the money and that they would be prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for money laundering.
 
Sanusi said independent investigations carried out by the CBN revealed that that commercial banks were importing billions of US dollars in the country for onward sale to the affected BDCs and that Nigeria had taken over from Russian as the highest importer of U.S. dollars in the world.
 
He said the effect of this is the fall of the nation’s local currency at the foreign exchange market.

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