Forex: CBN bars 16 banks from SME window

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday wielded the big stick on 16 Deposit Money Banks as it stopped them from participating in the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises window of the foreign exchange market.

The apex bank said this in a statement issued by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.

He said the decision to stop the banks from participating in the SME wholesale window of the forex market was taken following series of complaints that some of them were deliberately frustrating efforts by many SMEs to access forex from the window.

The apex bank had last month created the SME wholesale window to make it easier for small-scale businesses to access forex to import critical materials for their operations.

The CBN explained in the statement that based on field reports, only eight banks had sold forex to the SMEs segment since the inception of the new window.

The apex bank noted that only the eight banks would be allowed to access forex in that segment of the financial market henceforth.

The banks are Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank and Zenith Bank Plc.
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