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Banks may put in public lists of forex defaulters

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all commercial banks across the country to publish names and Bank Verification Numbers of customers engaging in fraudulent practices to obtain foreign exchange from banks on their websites.

It explained that the new new directive had been given in line with the apex bank’s commitment to curb the unwholesome conduct of some unscrupulous customers who are trying to circumvent its new forex policy.

The CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa, outlined the fraudulent practices to include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance.

Mustafa, through a circular issued on Tuesday and addressed to all banks, expressed concerns over reported violation of the ban emplaced on forex by the federal government to sanitise the market and protect the naira from further slide.

The circular read in full, “The CBN has received and noted with concern reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel.

“Some of these unwholesome practices include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of PTA/BTA. This trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.

“Consequently, further to the various measures already put in place, all banks are hereby directed to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them.”

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