The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined Standard Chartered Bank N2billion for foreign exchange infraction, an authoritative source said Wednesday.
The apex bank accuses Standard Chartered of buying dollars at the official rate and selling way above the inter-bank market rate. Sources say Standard Chartered bank got as much as $25million dollars from the CBN.
Apart from the hefty fine, the commercial bank’s treasurer is also said to have been suspended by the apex bank that has been battling to rein in unwholesome banking industry practices that have engendered a huge differential between the inter-bank and parallel market rates.
Nigeria which has been hit with a recession and a drastic decline in dollar inflows occasioned by fall in oil price and militancy in the Niger Delta has battled with meeting the demand for foreign exchange for several economic actors. A mismatch of demand and supply of foreign exchange has led to a wide margin between the rate at which the naira exchanges for the dollar at the parallel market and the official market.
In efforts to bridge the wide gap between the interbank and the Bureau De Change (BDC) segments of the foreign exchange market, the apex bank, the State Security Service, the Nigeria Police Force and the Bureau De Change Operators met yesterday over the need for the BDCs to adhere to the rules governing foreign exchange transactions.