CBN Only Stopped Dollar Sale To BDCs But Did Not Ban It From Forex Services —ABCON

Customers and the general public has been assured by the body of Bank Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) has assured that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are ready to supply dollars enough to meet demands that might come from the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.

The bank CEOs made this public at a virtual press briefing held on Thursday afternoon. The Chairman of the Body of Banks CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, assured end-users of foreign exchange that there is no cause for alarm as banks spread across the country have already started setting up dedicated service desks to meet customers’ needs.

He believes this will help fill any gap that people think might be created by the stoppage of dollar sales to BDCs.

“We have the spread, infrastructure and personnel to service the retail end of the forex market in line with the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” he assured.

Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), Mr. Segun Agbaje said the banks need not apply for BDCs licenses as they already have the license to deal in forex and have been doing so to date.

Other Managing Directors present were: Mr Patrick Akinwunton, CEO, Ecobank Nigeria; Mrs Tomi Somefun, CEO, Unity Bank; and CEO, First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB), Mrs. Yemisi Edun, among others.

Meanwhile, the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has assured members of the public that Bureaux De Changes (BDCs) are still providing foreign exchange services. ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, who gave this assurance on Thursday stressed that the recent pronouncement of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not stop BDCs from providing foreign exchange services as allowed by their operating licenses and also in their operating guidelines.

He said: “BDCs are licensed to provide retail FX services, including buying from the public and also selling to endusers for allowable transactions namely Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Business Travel Allowance (BTA), payment of medical and school fees. He added that while the dollar sale from CBN had helped in enhancing supply, the fact remained that BDCs were empowered to get FX from other sources and also to provide various services to members of the public.

“While the CBN has stopped dollar sale to BDCs, it has not cancelled their operating licenses, or banned them from providing FX services to members of the public”, he added.

“At ABCON, we urge our members to see the CBN pronouncement as a wakeup call and opportunity to widen their customer base and deepen their business.

“ABCON has always worked with the CBN to ensure proper working of the FX market and in line with this principle, we will engage with the apex bank to address and resolve all the issues that led to the recent action, including identification and sanctioning of erring BDCs, where necessary.

“In addition to this, and in view of the fact that BDCs have been very effective in ensuring stable exchange rate, ABCON will work with relevant stakeholders including law enforcement agencies to develop a National BDC Policy with the aim of enhancing the contribution of the BDC subsector to the nation’s economy,” Gwadabe said.

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