Nigeria’s Central Bank has fined three Nigerian commercial banks a total of N800 million for failing to comply with regulations prohibiting consumers from transacting in crypto currencies.
The banks are Stanbic IBTC Bank, Access Bank Plc, and United Bank for Africa.
According to Bloomberg, the sanctions are part of the Central Bank’s efforts to tighten down on cryptocurrency, ensuring that commercial restrictions on cryptocurrency trading are in place.
In a circular dated 5th February 2021, the Central Bank had notified Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, other financial institutions against doing business in Crypto and other digital assets.
According to the report, Access Bank Plc, the country’s largest lender by assets, was fined N500 million for failing to shut down customers’ crypto accounts.
On its part, United Bank for Africa Plc was fined N100 million naira for a customer’s digital-currency transactions.
The Central Bank slammed a N200 million fine on Stanbic IBTC Bank, the local unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., for two accounts allegedly used for crypto transactions.
Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, Wole Adeniyi disclosed at an investor conference call in Lagos that while Stanbic IBTC followed the central bank’s orders, the transactions for which it was sanctioned may have passed through its system undetected.
He said the CBN was able to detect the relevant transactions using “advanced capacity” that Nigerian lenders do not have access to, and they have urged the central bank to share the technology.