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House of Reps to investigate banks' non-compliance with CBN forex directives

Commercial banks and certain financial institutions are reluctant to implement the monetary measures put in place by the CBN to check unwholesome practices.

House of Reps to investigate banks' non-compliance with CBN forex directives

The House mandated its committees on Banking Regulations and Banking Institutions to conduct the investigation and report back to the House.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos) at the plenary in Abuja on Wednesday. He stated that there had been a steady rise in the rate of the dollar in comparison to the naira, adding that such an astronomical rise had been caused by diverse market forces.

He added that the rise was also a sequel to certain economic policies adopted by the government, including the liberalisation of the dollar. He said that commercial banks and certain financial institutions in Nigeria usually hold back a large part of the forex they obtained either through purchase, borrowing or allocation from the CBN.

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He added that rather than lending to their customers, they would withhold it to sell it when the exchange rate is high. According to him, this speculative activity by commercial banks and certain financial institutions has further exacerbated the harsh economic situation in the country.

He said it had led to difficulty for legitimate businesses to obtain forex for their business transactions. He said the CBN had intervened by introducing new monetary policies to check the rise in the rate of the dollar among which were the net open position limits and holding excess long foreign exchange.

He said commercial banks and certain financial institutions were reluctant to implement the monetary measures put in place by CBN to check such unwholesome practices by banks and other financial institutions in the country. He stated that unless drastic legislative measures were taken to enforce the implementation of these directives, the country would continue to experience dire economic hardship.

This is a result of the continuous rise in foreign exchange rates. The House however mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure full implementation. NAN reports that the CBN said the NOP limit of the overall foreign currency assets and liabilities of banks shall not exceed “20% short or 0% long of shareholders’ funds”.

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