CBN sanctions banks to protect crypto transactions in Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria has penalized some commercial banks that failed to adhere to regulations that prevent customers from transacting with cryptocurrencies.

Per The Cable Stanbic IBTC and First City Monument Banks (FCMB), Access Bank, Wema Banks, United Bank for Africas (UBA), Fidelity Banks are just a few of the banks.

Stanbic IBTC Bank, the domestic unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd, was fined N200 million for failing to comply with the CBN’s directive, according to the lender’s 2021 consolidated and separate financial statement.

Meanwhile, Access Bank Plc, the country’s biggest lender by assets, was fined 500 million Naira for failure to close customers’ crypto accounts, according to a filing with the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. United Bank for Africa Plc incurred a 100 million naira penalty for digital-currency transactions by a customer while Fidelity Bank Plc was fined 14.3 million naira, according to reports.

According to Paxful, a cryptocurrency marketplace, Nigeria is the country with the highest volume of cryptocurrency transactions. Africa’s most populous country also has the largest proportion of retail users conducting transactions under $10,000, according to Paxful, a Bitcoin marketplace.

Africa’s most populous country also has the largest proportion of retail users conducting transactions under $10,000, according to Chainalysis.

CBN declared a complete ban on cryptocurrency purchases and trades in February 2021.

A circular, dated February 5, 2021, announced the crypto ban. It has since been deleted. The circular bears the CBN’s insignia, and two of its top officers sign it. It orders financial regulators to identify anyone or organization trading in crypto and close all accounts. It threatens to take severe regulatory action against financial institutions who refuse to cooperate.

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