Banks Lament Fraudulent Forex Requests by Customers – The Bankers’ Committee has expressed concern over the fraudulent demands for foreign exchange (forex) by bank customers.
The committee at the end of a meeting held on Thursday told journalists that some customers are submitting fake documents such as expired passports, invalid flight tickets or open tickets that are cancelled after collecting forex.
They added that others are requesting for forex in excess of what they require.
The Managing Director of Guarantee Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje, while speaking to the issue said banks do not want “fraudulent transactions taking place” in the guise of forex transactions.
He said banks have observed disturbing activities by some customers submitting unverifiable flight tickets and requesting for more forex than they need.
However, he said legitimate demands for Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) and Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), medical needs and educational purposes “are working very well”.
He urged bank customers to consider putting their forex in cards as the Banker’s Committee is considering digitizing the process, saying the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Instant Payment (NIBSS) had created a portal for forex to be bought online.
He said, “We are digitising the system to make it quicker, faster and cheaper. There will be no need to carry cash around when travelling, as card transactions make it seamless, which is what obtains in other parts of the world.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Yemisi Edun, said, “Banks are ready and prepared to address the need of customers and all banks have been attending to customers. We have our teller points and the CBN has been providing the funding.
“We are using digital means to take records and data. We have a portal with means to track fraud. For example, we noticed people coming with airline tickets and then cancelling in a bid to obtain forex. We have means to stop this kind of behaviour.
“We encourage customers to use their banks to obtain forex as well as using electronic means of crediting their cards instead of carrying cash to buy invisibles. The banks are prepared with teller points to handle demand.”
The Managing Director of Access Bank and Chairman of the committee, Herbert Wigwe, said customers who failed to comply with the rules stipulated by the CBN would be reported to the law enforcement agencies for further prosecution.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had had last month stopped forex sale to the Bureau De Change, saying they had turned themselves into agents that facilitate graft and corrupt activities of people who seek illicit fund flow and money laundering in Nigeria.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the apex bank would channel a significant portion of its weekly allocation meant for BDCs to commercial banks to meet legitimate forex demand for ordinary Nigerians and businesses.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Financial Watch. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
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