Nigeria: Customers can now transfer foreign currency, says Banks
|CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele|
Deposit Money Banks in the country are now allowing customers to transfer foreign currency cash deposits made into their domiciliary accounts. The announcement from the banks started coming in four days after the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted the ban on foreign currency deposits.
The CBN had on Monday said holders of ordinary domiciliary accounts were allowed to deposit foreign currencies into their accounts, a move that ended a six-month embargo on the DMBs from receiving cash deposits from the customers.
The Head, Media and External Relations, FirstBank of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, confirmed to our correspondent on Saturday, "Banks can do transfer now. We sent messages to some of our customers yesterday (Friday)."
The message sent to customers read in part, "Please be informed of the following: Customers can make foreign currency cash deposits into their FirstBank domiciliary accounts without restrictions.
"We have recommended the transfer of US dollar and other currencies for our customers who make such cash lodgements subject to the monthly limit of $10,000. A flat rate of two per cent on the sum to be transferred is to be charged on all the transfers. We implore all branches to re-commence foreign currency transactions for all our customers."
In an emailed statement sent to customers on Saturday, Guaranty Trust Bank, also said, "We are pleased to inform you that you can now transfer foreign currency cash deposits made into your GTBank domiciliary account(s) via internet banking, mobile app or at any of our branches nationwide, subject to a daily cumulative limit of $10,000."
Similarly, Sterling Bank, in an email to customers on Friday night, said, "We are pleased to inform you that effective Monday, January 18, 2016 you will be able to transfer cash deposits from your foreign currency domiciliary accounts, up to a maximum of $10,000 per transaction. Kindly visit any of our branches to submit your request as applicable."
The PUNCH had on Friday reported that bank customers were shying away from making cash deposits into their domiciliary accounts.
A currency strategist at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, had, three days after the lifting of the ban on cash deposits into domiciliary accounts, said the CBN would need to come back to the banks and provide a clearer view about what the banks would do about the cash deposits in their vaults.
He said, "With what they have done now, it is now a win-win situation. The banks will be happy to do business. Then again it allows the naira to have a sort of cushion. People can now do wire transfer to and from abroad. It will create a free flow of funds in the market.
"People who have dollars can bring it in now and banks can do transfer for them. With this, the market will calm a bit next week and we expect to some appreciation in the naira in the parallel market."
The CBN had in a circular on August 5, 2015 banned the payment of cash into domiciliary accounts in a bid to stop illicit financial flows in the Nigerian banking system.