Why Eight Banks Avoided CBN FX Ban


Nume Ekeghe

Transparency, continuous engagement, proper documentation and promptness in sending returns of unutilised foreign exchange (FX) to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were main the factors that worked for the eight banks that escaped the apex bank’s sanction from its small and medium enterprises (SMEs) FX window, a banking industry source informed THISDAY thursday.

The lenders that escaped the banking watchdog’s hammer were Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc. But the following day GTBank, United Bank for Africa Plc and FirstBank were readmitted. Also, yesterday, Stanbic IBTC and Keystone Bank were readmitted.
Speaking on the development, Sterling Bank’s Group Head, Treasury & Financial Institution, Kehinde Wole – Olomojobi, said transparency, continuous engagement and promptness in sending returns of unutilised FX to the CBN worked in favour of the eight banks.

Citing as example Sterling Bank where she just assumed duties, Wole –Olomojobi said the lender usually engaged the CBN to clarify issues and made sure that any FX not utilised were returned immediately to the Apex bank and same communicated officially.

She said: “What the CBN wants is transparency and professionalism at the highest level. They want to make sure that you use the FX for the purpose it is meant for and all documentations are complete. At Sterling Bank, we return the FX we do not need and get the requisite Naira refund from the CBN.”

Narrating her previous perception of Sterling Bank as an outsider, Wole –Olomojobi who has garnered over 19 years’ experience in the industry, said she initially perceived Sterling Bank as an ‘old school’ institution but when she became a staff, it was a different thing entirely.

“Sterling Bank is very innovative, with young, vibrant and dynamic people and both the Board and Management are disciplined, abreast of regulatory requirements, in tune with the markets and their cooperation with Treasury on all fronts is very commendable. This makes our job easier as Dealers and very heart-warming for me.

“For us in Sterling Bank Treasury, the era of tagging along and just being reactive is gone. We want to demystify Treasury, stay abreast of our markets, maintain visibility and increase our circle of influence within the Financial Markets’ space.”