CBN to ban all banks, except FirstBank from selling forex to BDC’s

By Odunewu Segun

There are indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria may issue a new circular banning all commercial banks except First Bank from the role of selling foreign remittances directly to license Bureau De Change in the country.

National Daily gathered the development is not unconnected with the complaints of BDC operators to the apex bank about the refusal of some banks to sell forex emanating from forex remittances to them leading to the significant depreciation of the naira in the past weeks.

With this new development, commercial banks except First bank can only now sell their forex remittances to Travelex, who will then sell to the BDC’s, meaning that FirstBank and Travelex are now the dealers to buy from if you need forex for PTA or BTA.

National Daily gathered from analysts that the move by the CBN to control FX market that is supposed to be floating may not negatively affect the price of dollars, considering that the banks did not sell remittances to BDC’s in the first place.

Some also see the move as one intervention too many from the apex bank, blaming the different prices available in the market to CBN’s policy of controlling supply and price instead of allowing market induced price discovery.

President of the Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadebe weighed in positively on the new development negating any concern that this may cause another spike in the price of the dollar. “It will ensure that more dollar are distributed to BDC’s in uniform and transparent manner as some of the banks have not been selling funds from the international money transfer operators (IMTOs).

Meanwhile National Daily gathered from Nigerians who have bought from Travelex that they have not be able to get the full $4,000 limit available for PTA as it is still being rationed. However, some confirmed that they got their full allocations except that they had to appear at Travelex office.