Exactly one week after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) imposed fines on four banks, Stanbic IBTC Holdings said the apex bank has unilaterally deducted the sum of N1.886 billion from the account of Stanbic IBTC Bank, despite protestations by the bank that it did not violate any regulation on money remittances. The holdings company in a release to media yesterday said following public announcement of the fines, the banks had separately issued statements indicating their preparedness to engage with the CBN in order to resolve the matter. “However, in a letter dated September 6, 2018 to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Stanbic IBTC Bank, which parent, Stanbic IBTC Holdings is a quoted company, informed stakeholders that the CBN had debited the full amount of the stated fine from the bank’s account with the apex bank.”
The letter, signed by the group company secretary, Chidi Okezie, and acting head, Marketing and Communications, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, stated in part, “Following our earlier announcement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on August 30, 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 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.” Stanbic IBTC reiterated its position that it has not breached any extant laws relating to Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI) executed on behalf of MTN. The company further reassured stakeholders that the current situation would not affect the seamless transactions with the bank.
The CBN directed four banks, namely Citibank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank, to repay the sum of N5.87 billion for allegedly issuing irregular CCIs on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited. Standard Chartered Bank was fined N2.4 billion, Stanbic IBTC N1.8 billion, Citibank Nigeria N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank N250 million. MTN was also directed by the apex bank to refund $8.134 billion to its coffers. 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.