ABCON accuses Banks of frustrating BDCs from accessing forex

By Odunewu Segun

Bureaux de Change operators in the country have described as too stringent and high-handed the conditions set by banks in other for them to access the Diaspora funds-related foreign exchange being canvassed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) Aminu Gwadabe said yesterday that banks were asking BDCs to produce evidence of rendering returns on previously purchased forex, evidence of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) filings of company secretary, CBN registration certificate and funding of the beneficiary account.

Gwadabe described the conditions as stringent and high-handed. He urged the CBN to intervene. He said the conditions were part of the banks’ plans to frustrate the BDCs from accessing the funds because the lenders want to disburse the funds to BDCs where they have interests.

The CBN had granted approval to authorised dealers who are a gents to approved International Money Transfers Operators (IMTSO) to sell foreign currency accruing from inward money remittances to licensed BDCs. The regulator also set the guidelines.

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The banks have however, gone beyond the CBN’s guidelines on accessing the funds, by introducing more bottlenecks to frustrate BDCs from accessing the funds.

In a new circular issued by the CBN on Tuesday titled: Re: Sales of Foreign Currency Proceeds of International Money Transfers to Bureaux De Change Operators, CBN Acting Director,Trade and Exchange, W.D Goting said authorised dealers shall sell foreign exchange cash to BDCs subject to a maximum of $30,000 to a BDC per week.

He explained that a BDC shall nominate its preferred authorized dealer, a commercial bank, and can only procure the said amount from only that bank of its choice in a week. The CBN warned that any breach of this condition will attract appropriate sanction.

It said the selling rate by the authorized dealers to BDCs shall be the buying rate from International Money Transfers Operators (IMTSO) plus a margin not exceeding 1.5 per cent;

According to the apex bank, authorized dealers shall continue to render weekly returns on sales to BDCs and the BDCs shall also continue to render weekly returns on the purchases from authorized dealers.

It explained that funds purchased by BDCs shall be disbursed for the Business Travel Allowance/Personal Travel Allowance; overseas school fees; overseas medical fees, with maximum disbursement per transaction not exceeding $5,000.

The CBN warned that: “Any authorized dealer and BDC that diverts funds or violates the provision of these guidelines shall attract appropriate sanction including, suspension of dealership licences”.