Crypto Transactions: CBN Fines Three Banks N800m
By Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman
Three Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria have been fined N800 million by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN for breaking regulations prohibiting clients from trading in cryptocurrencies.
The three banks are Access Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC, and the United Bank for Africa Plc, according to a Bloomberg report released on Wednesday.
The sanctions, according to the report, are part of the apex bank’s efforts to ensure that banks follow an order to stop trading in cryptocurrencies because of the damage they pose to Nigeria’s financial system.
The CBN released a circular in February 2021 that contained the directive.
Furthermore, the CBN ordered banks to close the accounts of two individuals and a company in November for allegedly trading in cryptocurrency.
Despite these regulations, Nigeria accounts for the largest volume of cryptocurrency transactions outside the United States., according to Paxful, a Bitcoin marketplace.
The country also has the largest proportion of retail users conducting crypto transactions under $10,000, Chainalysis says.
The report stated that Access Bank was fined N500m for failure to close customers’ crypto accounts, according to a filing with the Nigerian Exchange Limited while UBA incurred a N100m penalty for digital-currency transactions by a customer.
It said that the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Wole Adeniyi, during an investor conference call in Lagos on Tuesday revealed that his bank was fined N200m ($478,595) for two accounts alleged to have been used for crypto transactions.
Adeniyi said that while Stanbic IBTC followed the apex bank’s directive, the transactions it was sanctioned for might have passed through its system undetected.
He noted that the CBN was able to detect the relevant transactions using an “advanced capability” that Nigerian banks don’t have access to, and they’ve asked the apex bank to share the technology.
“It doesn’t seem that they are going to entertain a refund, but they are now sharing intelligence with us to be able to kind of deter clients,” he added.