Foreign Exchange: CBN to sanction banks denying forex access to SMEs

central bank of nigeria2 - Foreign Exchange: CBN to sanction banks denying forex access to SMEs

After some banks in Nigeria have refused to allow Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) access to foreign exchange (Forex) from the newly instituted SMEs Forex Window, the Central Bank (CBN), has responded by threatening to sanction banks that have failed to comply.

The special FOREX window which opened about two weeks ago is designed to help SMEs import eligible finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for an enterprise per quarter.

The CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, while speaking on the sideline of the ongoing IMF/ World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, said that appropriate sanctions are spelt out by the CBN Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA).

Okorafor said the Central bank has already received series of complaints from bank customers, especially those that operate in the SMEs segment of the market that banks are frustrating their efforts at getting FOREX.

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He advised customers to present evidence based complaints to the CBN, so the apex bank could work on it and saction banks.

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