The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks to publish the names and BVNs of customers who collect forex without travelling.
In a circular on Friday, First bank told its customers that it will no longer tolerate unethical practices geared towards manipulating the new CBN policy to illegally acquire forex.
The CBN warned that it would publish names and BVNs of customers who present fraudulent travel documents or cancel their ticket without refunding the purchase PTA and BTA within two weeks in line with CBN’s directives.
“We have been directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to inform all our customers that unethical practices to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex, such as the presentation of false travel documents, visas, and the cancellation of flight tickets after purchasing personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA), will no longer be tolerated,” a First Bank in a statement said.
“Defaulting customers who present fraudulent travel credentials or cancel their tickets and fail to refund the purchased PTA and BTA within two weeks, as stated in the signed customer declaration form, will have their identities and bank verification numbers (BVNs) published,” it added.
In July, CBN directed banks to set up teller points in designated branches to sell the dollar and other foreign currencies to meet the needs of both personal travel allowances (PTA) and business travel allowances (BTA) for onward sale to customers.
The directive was sequel to CBN’s decision to discontinue the sale of forex to Nigerians through the Bureaux de Change operators.
Speaking after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in July, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the ban was necessary because the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.
He accused the BDCs of going beyond their mandate of selling $5,000 per day and abusing the forex sector.
Bureau de change operators have long been a major black market, providing exchange rate support to those unable to formally access foreign currencies directly from the CBN.
The suspension of their ability to source foreign exchange from the CBN could have a significant impact on the country’s economy and bring naira under further pressure.