In line with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks should publish names of individuals who fraudulently obtain foreign exchange and blacklist them, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has made public the names and account numbers of some customers who allegedly defied the forex policy.
Commercial banks had complained that some customers were involved in sharp practices in order to get foreign exchange meant for business and personal travel allowance, medical and school fees as well as other legitimate invisible demands at the official window.
The CBN had consequently directed that banks should publish on their websites the names and BVN of exploitative customers who indulged in sharp practices to circumvent the apex bank’s new foreign exchange policy.
UBA had listed on their website Ajoke Azeezat Oseni and Felix Aleakwe Zibiri who had cancelled their trip and failed to return the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Okafor Patrick Chukwuemeka who was reported to have presented a fake VISA to apply for PTA.
The bank in a publication on its official website titled, ‘CBN FX defaulters’, noted that the customers had been contacted severally through emails, phone calls and messages but they still failed to return the funds.
The statement on its website reads: “In compliance with the directive of Central Bank of Nigeria mandating banks to publish the names of defaulters of the forex exchange regulation, based on regulatory directives, the following customers cancelled their trip and failed to return the PTA availed to them despite several mails, text messages and follow up phone calls”.
CBN Warns Banks Against Forex Malpractices, Denies Report On Domiciliary Accounts
The CBN in a circular to all banks dated August 30 and signed by its director of Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa, stated that the trend if not curbed, presented risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.
“CBN, therefore, directed banks to publish on their websites within two weeks the names and BVN of defaulting customers who presented fake travel documents or cancelled their tickets and failed to return the purchased PTA/BTA, as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them,” it stated.
Also, further implication suggests that these customers could be blacklisted and would thereby suffer post-no-debit (PND) on their accounts which was a sanction stipulated by the banker committee.
Speaking at the end of bankers committee press brief, the Group Managing Director Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said, “Banks have been criticised for not being able to handle PTA and BTA transactions and just to let people know that we would continue to exercise due diligence required with respect to KYC and compliance.
“FX is a scarce resource, so if we find people coming up with tickets that have expired or tickets that are going to be canceled, or illegitimate passports or people buying more than they are supposed to buy, they will be reported to law enforcement agencies. People should comply with the rules as stipulated by the CBN.”