Finance

Seven banks fined N1bn for forex offences

Seven banks fined N1bn for forex offences

Seven Deposit Money Banks paid a total of N1,088,334,000 as fines to the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Insurance Commission, Pension Commission and others in the 2022 financial, according to findings.

This was disclosed in the financial statements of the banks for the year 2022, which were filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The financial services firms included in this report are Access Holdings Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Holding Company, FCMB Group Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, and Stanbic IBTC Holdings.

Some of the infractions the lenders were sanctioned for ranged from mismatched details on accounts, foreign exchange guidelines contravention, late rendition of monthly returns, late rendition of daily returns, publication of unapproved adverts, and unethical conduct, among others.

In the period under review, Access Bank paid a total of N604m to the Central Bank of Nigeria. The details included a N2m paid to the CBN in respect of the breach of accounts’ administration agreement on March 11, 2022. On July 11, the bank paid another N2m for wrong account opening with mismatched details.

On December 8, 2022, the bank said it paid N100m and N500m, respectively fine for contravening regulatory guidelines on forex.

For Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a total of N159m (Dec 2021: N233m), was paid as fines during the year across its business interests.

A fine of N44,850,000 was paid by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc over failure to report export proceeds and Certificate of Capital Importation to the CBN and the NFIU. A fine of N5,000,000 was also imposed on Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc for a late rendition of daily returns and another fine of N5,000,000 for a late rendition of monthly returns. Fines paid to the CBN by the banking arm of the group stood at N54.850m.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited paid N500,161.25 fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission for not depositing all the proceeds of the Stanbic Infrastructure Fund issue in an interest-yielding account with the custodian.

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SEC also imposed a fine of N8,205,000 on Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited for misinformation about the income earned on the investment of bond sinking funds.

The National Pension Commission imposed a penalty of N69,600,000 on Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited for contravening the provisions of the revised registration guidelines.

A fine of N10,000,000 was also imposed as an administrative sanction for the publication of an unapproved advert by Stanbic IBTC Group.

The insurance sector regulator, National Insurance Commission, imposed a fine of N15,250,000 on Stanbic IBTC Insurance Brokers Limited for alleged failure to avail an on-site inspector with the full representation of Know-Your-Customer/Customer-Due-Diligence documents conducted on customers.

NAICOM also imposed a fine of N250,161.25 on Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited for late upload of online real-time data of policies booked.

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Lastly, the Federal Inland Revenue Service imposed a fine of N50,000 on Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited for late filing and remittance of Value Added Tax.

In its 2022 financial statements, Guaranty Trust Holding Company reported that it paid penalties to regulators in Nigeria and in other countries where it operates.

GTCO paid fines to CBN, SEC, PenCom and other regulators in Nigeria. The lender listed the infractions as the 2021 Risk Asset Examination, N20m; 2021 Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Examination, N21.25m; 2021 CBN Prospective Employee Clearance Review, N10m; CBN Review infraction, N67.35m; and 2022 Consumer Protection Review, N10m.

In Ghana, GTCO paid N2.89m fine for inaccurate submission of forex end-day transaction return. It was also fined N7.71m after a review of its credit portfolio showed six impaired loans, bringing total fines paid in Ghana to N10.60m.

GTCO paid N4.05m as fines for deficient Anti-Money Laundering/Control (2014-2017) in the United Kingdom. Also, Kenyan regulators imposed N7.26m and N3.99m fines on the bank for non-compliance with its banking act 28/50(1) and non-compliance with the CBK cash reserve requirement respectively, while in Tanzania, the lender paid N180,000 as a fine for late rendition of daily liquidity report.

Its subsidiary, GT Pension Manager paid a fine of N200,000 for the registration of two FGN employees without complete documentation and N3m for the violation of the minimum credit rating requirement.

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GT Fund Manager was also fined for the issuance of units in excess of the registered units with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The imposed fine was N520,000.

For Fidelity Bank Plc, a total fine of N100.71m (2021: N85.33m) was paid during the year 2022 to the CBN.

The fines include an infraction in respect of cryptocurrency, which was N85.71m; late returns, N5m; and an employment infraction, N10m.

The CBN had in February 2021 warned local financial institutions against having any transactions in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.

The FCMB Group reported being fined N2m for the contravention of CBN AML & CFT regulations and the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act in respect of lack of proper (KYC) due diligence on a customer, who is a beneficiary of cyber fraud incident.

Another contravention of the CBN guidelines in respect of late rendition of monthly returns attracted a fine of N5m.

Meanwhile, FCMB Pensions Limited paid a N63.30m fine imposed by PenCom for unethical conduct and demarketing of another Pension Fund Administrator.

The penalties for the FCMB Group totalled N70.3m (31 December 2021: N723.31m).

Union Bank in its annual financial statements said it paid fines of N20m in all to the CBN (2021: N207m) over failure to obtain the CBN approval for prospective employees sale of assets. Both infractions attracted N10m each.

Punch

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