CBN fines four banks N5.8bn, asks MTN to refund $8bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered four banks namely Citibank, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered bank and Stanbic-IBTC, to pay a total sum of N5.87 billion for allegedly issuing irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

The apex bank has also written to MTN, asking it to refund $8 billion to the coffers of the central bank.

Standard Chartered Bank received the highest fine of N2.4 billion. Stanbic IBTC Nigeria was fined N1.8 billion. Citibank Nigeria got a fine of N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank was directed to pay the sum of N250 million for violating extant rules.

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According to CBN’s director, corporate communications, Isaac Okoroafor, the fine was necessary after allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular certificates of capital importation issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and subsequent investigations carried out by the apex bank in March 2018. Okoroafor said the investigations revealed that the sum of $3,448,119,321.72 was repatriated by Standard Chartered Bank on the basis of the illegally issued CCIs.

Similarly, he said the sums of $2,632,005,623.78, $1,766,263,212.75 and $348,914,501.30 were repatriated by Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, between 2007 and 2015.

He said the CBN had directed the affected banks to immediately refund the respective sums to the CBN.

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