CBN Parleys UK Agency on Regulatory Framework for Fintechs

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CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is collaborating with the Financial Control Authority, a United Kingdom agency to develop framework for the regulation of financial technology (fintech) companies in Nigeria.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, dropped this hint while speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting between UK Prime Minister, Theresa May and Nigeria’s business leaders and some regulators in Lagos, during the prime minister’s visit to Nigeria on Wednesday.

May was accompanied to Nigeria by a delegation of UK fintech specialists.

Emefiele said there are plans to develop regulations for fintechs that would not be as stringent as what is available for the banks.

Responding to a question about the outcome of the meeting, Emefiele said, “From our side, we spoke extensively with the Financial Control Authority, which is one of the agencies in UK that has regulations on fintech businesses.

“Nigeria being a country that has a lot of opportunities particularly because of our large population of young people who are interested in fintech businesses, we had opportunity to hold discussions with them and we have agreed that we would meet some other time to think on how to set up acceptable regulation for fintechs, regulations not as stringent as what the banks would be, but one way or the other, the fintechs have to be regulated.”

He added, “Basically it was a meeting where the Prime Minister met with leaders of businesses and financial services in Nigeria and we also had the opportunity of networking with some of the business leaders she came with from the UK.

“It was a good meeting and she had some one-on-one with some very important Nigerian business, all with a view to see how the Nigerian businesses can work, partner and collaborate with businesses from UK. Its a very successful one.”

On his part, a former CBN Deputy Governor, who is now the Chairman of the Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), who was also at the meeting said it was apparently to boost business relationship and bilateral relationship between Nigeria and UK.

“The prime minister did say in South Africa that post Brexit, Britain intends to ratchet up investment in Africa. And this visit was to reconfirm that to the Nigeria. It was an opportunity to cross fertilise ideas,” Lemo added.