MTN: CBN deducts N5.87bn from 4 banks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday effected the fine on four banks that breached its capital importation policy to the tune of N5.87 billion.

CBN debited the account of Standard Chartered Bank with N2.4 billion, Stanbic IBTC N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank N250 million for allegedly issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

MTN Nigeria was also directed by the CBN to refund $8.134 billion to its coffers.

In a letter to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Stanbic IBTC Bank informed investors and stakeholders that CBN had “unilaterally deducted” N1.886 billion from its account with the regulator, despite protestations by the bank that it did not violate any regulation on money remittances.

The apex bank said its investigation was triggered by “allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI)” between 2007 and 2015, in “flagrant violation of extant laws and regulations of Nigeria, including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006”.

The letter was signed by the Group Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie, and Acting Head, Marketing and Communications, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami.

It read: “Following our earlier announcement to The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) on 30 August 2018, in respect of the penalty of N1.886 billion imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) on our banking subsidiary – Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (the “Bank”) in relation to the remittance of foreign exchange on the basis of certain capital importation certificates issued to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, we write to update The NSE that the CBN has debited the account of our banking subsidiary with the CBN for the full amount of the above stated fine advised to the Bank.”

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