Forex Ban: CBN Begins Refund of License Fees to BDC Operators

CBN Headquarters

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it will begin immediate refund of all outstanding pending minimum capital deposits and license fees to Bureaux De Change promoters pending license application.

The Bank stated this in a circular released on Thursday on its website. 

The action is coming on the heels of the apex bank’s stoppage of foreign exchange sales to Bureau De Change operators.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had announced the sales ban on Tuesday at the of the Monetary policy committee meeting.

“Further to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) briefing of July 27, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will commence the immediate refund of capital deposits and licencing fees (where applicable) to promoters have pending Bureaux de Change (BDC) licence applications with the CBN,” the Bank said in the circular.

The apex bank had been faced with foreign exchange woes leading to the devaluation of the naira to N410 to the dollar at the official window from N379 previously held.

But at the parallel market, the naira has lost its value to over N503 to the dollar, despite issuing several warnings to speculators by Emefiele.

Promoters of BDC across the country have obligations to pay N35m to the bank and other fees.
The N35m is the minimum capital deposit for promoters to get licence.

With the new development, the apex bank said for a BDC promoter to access the refunds they must put forward their requests in writing to the “Director, Financial Policy and Regulatory Department” of the bank in Abuja.

The apex bank said the request must include a telex copy of the capital deposit of N35m.

Others include account details for the refund, “which should be the same as the account from which capital deposits originated, including the bank name; account name and account number.”

Also, the bank said it would require a copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of licensing fees of N1m.

 “All Deposit Money Banks are hereby directed to henceforth stop accepting instructions from customers to transfer capital deposit of N35 million to the designated CBN account for the purpose of applying for BDC license”, the apex bank added.

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