All commercial banks have been ordered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to publish on their websites, the names and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of customers who participate in fraudulent and unscrupulous tactics to obtain foreign exchange from banks.
This was disclosed in a circular titled, “Publication of names of Defaulters of a CBN policy on sale of Forex for PTA/BTA” and signed by the bank’s Director, Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa, as reported by The Independent.
It added that the new instruction was issued to stop some unethical clients from trying to get around the company’s new FX policy.
However, the apex bank detailed the fraudulent practices, which included the use of bogus visas and the cancellation of air tickets following the purchase of Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance.
The circular addressed to all banks reads, “The CBN has received and noted with concern reports of sharp practises by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel.
“Some of these unwholesome practices include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of PTA/BTA. This trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.
“Consequently, further to the various measures already put in place, all banks are hereby directed to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them.”
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A few days ago, Nigerian banks warned customers via email messages that defaulters of the new foreign exchange policy may face fines, including being prevented from accessing FX from the official FX market, bank account restrictions as established by the CBN, and criminal prosecution.