CBN explains N1.8bn deduction from Stanbic IBTC account

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained why it deducted the sum of N1.886 billion from the Stanbic IBTC account with the apex bank.

According to a top official of the apex bank who confided in National Daily, the deduction was done in the country’s interest.

The official, who craved for anonymity, could not immediate give details, but said that the apex bank would soon issue a statement on the matter.

The CBN had, on August 28, ordered MTN to refund $8.1 billion repatriated from their Nigerian operations to offshore investors.

Four banks, Citibank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank, were fined N5.87 billion for allegedly issuing irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some MTN offshore investors.

Standard Chartered Bank was fined N2.4 billion; Stanbic IBTC, N1.8 billion; Citibank Nigeria, N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank, N250 million.

The management of Stanbic IBTC Bank, had on Friday, alleged that the apex bank unilaterally deducted N1.886 billion from its account as a fine imposed on the bank.

The CBN had subsequently debited the accounts of the three banks in relation to the fine placed on them for allegedly helping MTN repatriate the money.

In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Stanbic IBTC said the deduction will not affect its capacity to handle clients’ requests or clients’ ability to continue to carry out viable business transactions whether in relation to the importation of capital or otherwise.

“We write to update The NSE that the CBN has debited the account of our banking subsidiary with the CBN for the full amount of the above-stated fine advised to the Bank,” the notice read.

On its part, Standard Chartered Bank confirmed that the CBN had debited N2.4 billion from its accounts.

In a statement sent to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the bank said it would continue to engage with the central bank despite the debit.

Citibank Nigeria has also confirmed the deduction of N1.2 billion from its accounts.

Banks often have accounts with the apex bank to tackle liquidity problems.