Ghana’s Central Bank suspends forex licences of two Nigerian banks

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The Ghanaian Central Bank has suspended the foreign exchange licence of Guaranty Trust Bank and FBN Bank for one month.

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In a statement issued by the Bank of Ghana on Tuesday, the suspension will commence on March 18 and this comes barely three months after it barred eight money transfer organisations (MTOs) from offering remittance services without regulatory approval as the apex bank seeks to regulate the foreign exchange market.

The statement added that the affected commercial banks committed various breaches of the foreign exchange market regulations, including submitting fraudulent documentation in their forex operations.

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The suspension is in line with Section 11 (2) of the Foreign Exchange Act 2006, which gives the Bank of Ghana the power to suspend a licence for a period instead of revoking it.

Reacting via a statement issued on Tuesday, Guaranty Trust Bank said it is “actively collaborating with the Bank of Ghana to swiftly address the trade-related issues leading to the suspension.”

The bank also reassured customers that all other business operations remained unaffected as the suspension was limited to its foreign exchange segment.

The Bank of Ghana said in a statement that it would restore the banks’ licences after one month if it is satisfied that the banks “put in place effective controls” to ensure strict adherence to regulations.

The apex bank also warned other financial institutions and called for strict adherence to forex market regulations and guidelines.

Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria revoked the licence of more than 4,000 Bureau De Change operators (BDCs) for failing to pay necessary fees, render returns or comply with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations.

The Nigerian government has also been taking several actions to clamp down on Binance, a global cryptocurrency trading platform for alleged fraud which resulted in the devaluation of the country’s currency, Naira.

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