A Nigerian newspaper and Online version of the Vanguard, a daily publication in Forex covering Niger delta, general national news, politics, business, energy, sports, entertainment, fashion,lifestyle human interest stories, 2015 The banking industry in was dominated by foreign the restrictions rolled out by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN in its bid to defend the naira as well as challenges that bedevilled the implementation of the Biometric Verification Number BVN.
The foreign exchange market witnessed introduction of several foreign exchange restrictions in The first notable restriction was the closure of official foreign exchange market Retail Dutch Auction on February 18, which translated to further devaluation of the naira to N197 per dollar from N165 per dollar. The second notable restriction was the Exclusion of 41items from the official foreign exchange market. Then in August the CBN banned acceptance of foreign currency deposit into domiciliary accounts.
In addition to law above was the reduction in the limit on usage of naira debit cards abroad. These restrictions coupled with dwindling foreign currency inflow due to continued decline in crude oil prices, as well as continued expectation of further devaluation of the naira, led to ……. There were two major monetary policy developments in The first was on May 18, when the Monetary Policy Committee MPC abolished the dichotomy of Cash Reserve Requirement CRR for private sector deposit and public sector deposit.
Previously, CRR market private sector was 20 percent while it was 75 percent for public sector deposit. But the MPC harmonised the CRR at 31 percent. Furthermore the MPR adjusted the interest rate for its Standing Deposit Facility SDF to MPR minus percent from MPR minus percent. The change in policy was prompted by the need to address the declining growth rate of the economy, by encouraging banks to increase lending to boost economic activities. The implementation of the Biometric Verification Number BVN as unique identity number for bank customers impacted banking activities and bank customers significantly in the second half of the year.
This resulted to crowding in most banking halls, which led to calls for extension of the deadline. Furthermore the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System and the CBN were yet to make adequate provision for enrolment of bank customers in diaspora. Also, some resident customers complained of not receiving their BVN months after enrolling for the BVN. As a the the CBN extended the deadline to October 31st To tackle enrolment of customers in diaspora, NIBSS collaborated with a OIS, a consulting company, to market BVN enrolment centers in selected countries.
In addition, foreign subsidiary of banks also provided BVN enrolment services for diaspora customers. But as at the October 31st deadline, the BVN enrolment centers have not been extended to many countries, and there were complaints of not issuance of BVN after enrolment.
As a result the CBN extended the deadline for BVN enrolment for diaspora customers to January 31st In addition to these, the CBN made the BVN one of the criteria for foreign exchange transactions in the country.
Thus effective November 1st, banks and BDCs were required to verify the BVN of anybody buying foreign exchange. On July 1st, the cashless policy was extended to the remaining 30 states. The policy, forex commenced in Lagos state inwas in extended to Abia, Anambra, Ogun, Kano, Rivers States and the FCT. The CBN however suspended the application of cashless charges in the remaining 30 states, as well as directed banks that have imposed such charges to return them to the customers.
In addition to the national roll-out of the cashless policy, there policy initiatives aimed at curbing the rising trend of electronic payment fraud in the country. Thus customers travelling to such countries forex to inform their banks whenever they are travelling to such countries. Secondly, to curb market related epayment fraud, the CBN directed banks to introduce Two Factor Authentication, which requires the use of PIN and Tokens for consummation of epayment transaction.
Finally, the CBN directed banks to establish dedicated e-fraud desks to address complaints from customers. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account TSA led to the transfer of all federal government funds from the banking sector. It is estimated that between N1 trillion and N2 trillion moved from banks to the CBN.
However the CBN sanctioned three banks namely First Bank, UBA and Skye Bank for non-compliance with the TSA directive. First Bank was fined N1. In November, the Senate condemned the percent charge for TSA transaction, and set up a panel to probe the charge. Consequently the CBN directed SystemSpec, owners of Remita, the platform adopted for TSA and banks 2015 remit all the income associated with the percent charge.
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