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CBN deducts N1.886b from Stanbic IBTC account

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To make good its sanction, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has finally deducted about N1.886 billion from the account of Stanbic IBTC Plc, for funds transfer infringement despite its plea of no wrong-doing.

The sum is the bank’s share the N5.87 billion fine imposed by the industry regulator against four Nigerian banks for allegedly issuing irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

The deduction comes exactly one week after the prescription of the fines, which also affected Standard Chartered Bank N2.4 billion; Citibank Nigeria N1.2 billion; and Diamond Bank N250 million for violating extant rules.

Confirming the deduction in a letter dated, September 06, 2018, to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, made available to The Guardian, Stanbic IBTC, which parent, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, is a quoted company, informed stakeholders that the CBN had debited the full amount of the stated fine from its account.

The letter was signed by the Group Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie, and the Ag. Head, Marketing and Communications, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami.
It read in part: “Following our earlier announcement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on 30 August, 2018, in respect of the penalty of N1.886 billion imposed by the CBN on our banking subsidiary – Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc in relation to the remittance of foreign exchange on the basis of certain capital importation certificates issued to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, 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.”

In the letter, Stanbic IBTC reiterated its position that it has not breached any extant laws relating to the CCIs executed on behalf of MTN.
“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC as well as our banking subsidiary maintain our position on this matter, which is the fact that the Bank has done nothing illegal and accordingly the Bank will continue to provide CBN with documents and details in support of our contention that our actions in relation to these transactions were not illegal.”

The bank noted that the management had separately issued statements indicating their preparedness to engage with the CBN to resolve the matter, following public announcement of the fines.

The bank further reassured stakeholders that the current situation would not affect seamless transactions with the bank.

The CBN had on August 28, accused the afore-mentioned banks of issuing irregular CCIs on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria, which was equally directed to refund $8.134 billion to its coffers.

The apex bank said its investigation was triggered by “allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI)” between 2007 and 2015, in “flagrant violation of extant laws and regulations of Nigeria, including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006.”

The four banks subsequently began engagement with the CBN to state their side of the story, especially as the apex bank vetted and approved the transactions in question.

In its official response to CBN, published in two national dailies, Stanbic IBTC Bank described the conclusions reached by the regulator as based on, ‘factually incorrect premises’.


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