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Sterling Bank faces N1m fine for hoarding new Naira notes



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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to fine Sterling Bank for hoarding the new Naira notes made available to the financial institutions for public disbursement.

According to the Deputy Director of the CBN, Oluwole Owoeye, about N6 million was found hoarded in the Sterling Bank branch located in Ado-Ekiti, with the firm’s Auto Teller Machines (ATM) empty.

This was disclosed in a trending on Monday. Owoeye said Sterling Bank had been informed of the N1 million penalty.

Recall that deposit money banks (DMBs) have been accused by the central bank and President Muhammadu Buhari of sabotaging the transition from the old Naira to new banknotes.

“I am currently at Sterling Bank, on Bank Road as part of the new naira notes monitoring compliance with the guidelines by CBN. They have N6 million, which they collected from the bank for almost two weeks, they have not disbursed any.

“They said they are yet to configure their ATMs, I do not know why that is and I have brought attention to the penalty clause of N1 million per day, because they have five ATMs here, they have no reason for keeping this money.

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“The zonal service manager, Tunde Onipede promised that by 10:00am latest tomorrow (Monday), because I told him by latest 10:00 am I’ll be here and I want to see the machine dispensing this money,” the CBN official said in the video.

Reacting, Ademola Adesina, Public Relations and News Management officer on Sterling Bank, admitted that the said funds were with the bank, but claimed that it was in N200 denominations, and that the ATM machines at that branch had not been configured to dispense N200 notes.

He further stated that “at the time of the visit, the subsisting instruction was that the newly designed notes were not to be dispensed over the counter”.

He said however, that “All denominations can now be withdrawn from our ATMs and over the counter in line with regulatory pronouncement on February 2, 2023.

Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) among others in the last one week visited banks to investigate the distribution of the new naira notes allocated from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Arrests and videos of hidden naira notes in banks’ strong rooms and also Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) not properly set up to dispense the new notes have been made public by the agencies.


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