Foreign Exchange Market: CBN Clears UBA

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cleared and re-admitted the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc into the Foreign Exchange Market effective from today (Thursday), August 25, 2016.

According to a statement by the Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins in Abuja on Wednesday said, UBA has returned all outstanding unremitted Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NNPC/NLNG) foreign currency in its possession.

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The statement reads: “Further to the directive of the CBN to all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to return all outstanding unremitted NNPC/NLNG foreign currency, this is to confirm that UBA has remitted all outstanding NNPC/NLNG deposits in its possession to NNPC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the CBN,” Martins said.

UBA had in a statement Tuesday said; “Our attention has been drawn to report of the ban of UBA from the foreign exchange market by the CBN over the non-remittance of NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits.

“We wish to state very categorically that UBA has completely remitted all NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits.

It will recalled that the CBN on Tuesday suspended 9 lenders (First Bank, UBA, Heritage, Diamond, Sterling, FCMB, Fidelity, Keystone and Skye) from doing foreign exchange transactions for failing to remit to the single government account (TSA) at the CBN about $2.3 billion dollars in belonging to the NNPC/NLNG.

Some of the other banks affected by the sanctioned of the apex bank Wednesday also clarified their positions on the development.

The banks include the FirstBank Ltd., Fidelity, Keystone and Heritage.

FirstBank in a statement, said that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts were fully disclosed to the CBN.

It said that accounts were being operated in line with the regulatory requirements.

The bank reassured all its stakeholders that the issue was not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance by the bank.

“We are confident in our ability to meet and honour all our obligations as at when due and are currently in talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies and are positive of an amicable resolution soonest,” said the bank.

Also, Fidelity Bank said it had repaid over 288 million dollars of those funds in line with the advised repayment schedule.

“We will like to clarify that these deposits were duly reported to the CBN by Fidelity Bank in line with the extant TSA requirements contrary to the erroneous view in certain media reports that the funds were concealed from the regulators.

“At the commencement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015, Fidelity bank advised NNPC and the regulators with a schedule of repayment for the NNPC/NLNG dividend dollar deposits.

“Please note that you can continue to operate your domiciliary account with Fidelity and this development will not affect your deposits/loans (local and foreign currency), remittances, transactional services and electronic banking services.

“Although the market condition remains quite challenging, we will continue to honour our obligations and operate with the highest level of corporate governance,’’ the bank said.

Keystone Bank, also in a statement signed by the management, said it had engaged in efforts that were geared towards very timely resolution.

It said the bank understood the importance of sourcing foreign exchange for its customers’ needs to support economic growth.

The bank said that the development did not adversely affect customers’ existing transactions with it except that there would be constraints in establishing new letters of credit until the issue was resolved.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank said that the CBN’s announcement of temporary suspension was a systemic challenge to the banking industry that cut across most banks.

It said that the bank would continue to treat forex transfer, remittance from domiciliary accounts, establishment of non-valid for FX form Ms and establishment of Letter of Credit (LoC) on the bank’s offshore lines.

Source: TheWillMagazine, NAN

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