CBN New Department to Regulate the Activities of Fintechs

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Ugo Aliogo

The recently created Payment System Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been charged with the responsibility of regulating the activities of the financial Technology Companies (Fintechs) and other financial institutions under the digital development.

Speaking recently in Lagos, at the Annual Retreat of Chief Compliance Officers with the theme: ‘Digital Revolution; Repositioning Compliance Function in Nigeria Banks’ the Group Head, ML Safety, Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Joseph Gina, said with the creation of the department the CBN was moving ahead to ensure that it was in tune with the global realities.

Gina explained that regulation is very important for the smooth running of institutions, stating that the CBN has always made sure that financial institutions are properly regulated to promote soundness in the financial system.

He said effective regulation would make the financial institutions attractive to domestic and international investors and also in compliance with global trends.
“In the area of compliance, I think we are doing well that is why you will notice that the CBN is constantly collaborating with the operators and the financial institutions so that we are all in tune with what is happening in the world and making sure that nobody is left behind.

“We are strong as our weakest link and we cannot take things for granted. What is certain is that all their challenges are addressed; also they understand that what is expected of them and once they are able to do that, then they are able to carry out their functions effectively.

“In the area of compliance, you will recall that there was a time Nigeria was placed on the blacklist as one of the none corporative countries because it was discovered that our sanction regimes were not proportionate and dissuasive enough, therefore what CBN did in 2018 was to come up with the anti-money laundering/administrative sanction regime which came into effect in February, 2018 and that was to put things in focus and make sure that things are working appropriately.”

In his remarks, the Chairman, Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria, (ACCOBIN), Opeyemi Adojutelgan, noted that in order for compliance officers to remain relevant in today’s world, there is need for them must learn new skills.

He also stated that compliance officers have to understand what the digital revolution means for the banks that the officers represent, adding that and this is why we brought some of the leading practitioners on global issues such as crypto currency, artificial intelligence and it is part of our own way of ensuring that as compliance practitioners that we are up skilled in these areas. We are up to speed with recent global developments and we will continue to remain relevant and continue to play the role we play in our respective organisations.