- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fines 4 banks for failing to adhere to its orders.
- The banks did not close accounts that were transacting in crypto.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that four banks in Nigeria including Stanbic IBTC, and Access Bank Plc, did not follow the instructions to not allow customers from transacting in digital currencies. The Central Bank has fined the banks for the same.
Nigeria has imposed restrictions on trading in cryptocurrencies as it can pose a threat to the financial system of the country. In February 2021, the regulator passed an order that banks failing to close such accounts will face “severe regulatory sanctions” and in November, they directed the shutting down of accounts of two individuals and a company.
The domestic branch of Standard Bank Group Ltd, Stanbic IBTC had to pay a fine worth 200 million naira (i.e. $478,595). Two accounts of this bank were allegedly transacting in crypto as revealed during an investor conference call with Wole Adeniyi, the Chief Executive Officer. However, it was later known that the bank was adhering to the rules but the transactions went undetected through the system.
Access Bank Plc, had to pay 500 million naira followed by the United Bank for Africa Plc paying 100 million, and Fidelity Bank Plc paid 14.3 million naira. All three banks failed to close crypto accounts and had to face the backlash.
In the case of the Stanbic IBTC, the Central Bank was able to detect unidentified transactions with the help of an “advanced technology”. However, will not process a refund of the money collected but will provide the lender with the technology to avoid a similar situation.