Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has warned that banks involved in any form of foreign exchange (FX) malpractice risk their FX operational licence being suspended for at least one year.

The apex bank issued the warning in a circular signed by O.S. Nnaji, director of trade and exchange department, on Friday.

In the circular, the CBN urged banks to know their customers, as well as the kind of businesses their customers are involved in.

“In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial market in general and the FX market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only know their customers (KYC requirements) but also know their customers’ business KYCB requirements,” the circular reads.

“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any form of forex malpractice.

“We wish to reiterate that the FX operations licence of any bank or banks that are found culpable with the ongoing investigation would be suspended at least for one year

This comes months after CBN announced that it would discontinue sales of FX to Bureaux De Change operators (BDCs) and channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate FX demands, while mandating banks to sell forex to every customer.

The bank had accused BDC operators of turning away from their objectives, saying they have become agents that facilitate graft and corruption in the country.