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CBN unveils sweeping changes in draft guidelines for BDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Financial Policy & Regulation Department, has  issued a  draft revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau de…

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Financial Policy & Regulation Department, has  issued a  draft revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau de Change (BDC) Operations which will require amongst others that sellers of $10,000 and above to  BDCs  will have to declare the  source of foreign exchange.

The circular with reference number FPR/DIR/PUB/CIR/0021006, dated  was copied to all  bureau de change operators and stakeholders in the financial services industry for comments and inputs.

The draft guidelines also proposed a  significant enhancement to  the regulatory framework for the operations of Bureau De Change as part of ongoing reforms of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

The draft notes that sellers of the equivalent of USD10,000 and above to a BDC are required to declare the source of the foreign exchange and comply with all AML/CFT/CPF regulations and foreign exchange laws and regulations.

It further proposes that customers may transfer foreign currencies from their individual domiciliary accounts with Nigerian banks to BDCs.

According to the proposition, payments to customers for cash purchases of foreign currency, the equivalent of above USD500, shall be by transfer to the customer’s Naira bank account. If the customer is non-resident (whether Nigerian or not), a BDC shall issue the customer a prepaid NGN card.

Where such a card is issued, relevant maximum credit and cumulative limits, in line with relevant Know Your Customer requirements, shall apply.

Also, “A beneficiary of BTA or PTA shall receive up to 25 per cent of the foreign currency in cash. In other words, at least 75 per cent of any sale of foreign currency by a BDC shall be transferred to the customer electronically (to the customer’s Nigerian domiciliary account or prepaid card).

“Notwithstanding the proposition above, a beneficiary of BTA or PTA of the equivalent of USD500 or less may receive his/her BTA or PTA in cash.”

Under the draft guideline, the BDCs are not permitted to, amongst other things; engage in Street-trading of foreign currency, maintaining any type of account for any member of the public, among others.

The CBN requested that comments be forwarded to the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja with soft copies mailed to PolicyandRegulationDivisioncbn.qpv.no by March 4, 2024.

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