CBN directs banks against illicit remittances, moves against dud cheque issuers

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks to conduct Know Your Customers’ Businesses (KYCB) to ensure customers do not transact illegal or illicit remittances through the banking industry.

The directives contained in a circular signed by the Acting Director of trade and Exchange for CBN, Mr. W.D Gotring titled “illicit international money remittances through banking system” directed banks to submit mandate and account details of such accounts held in foreign and local currencies to the CBN.

It said it has observed that some Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) were operating accounts either as companies or masking themselves as individuals for the purpose of illegally receiving money transfer flow.They then claimed to onward disburse such funds to recipients in the country.

The CBN had directed the commercial banks to identify and freeze those accounts receiving illicit flows. It said that the development would allow easy onward reporting to the security agencies.

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Meanwhile the Deputy Director, banking Supervision of CBN, Stephen Nwadiiuko said the apex bank is in the process of stopping issuers of dud cheques (returned cheques) from opening current account.

He said the CBN was working on the credit bureaus in the country to build a data base that would reveal bank customers who issued dud cheques three times within a specified period and barred from operating current accounts.

Nwadiuko, who spoke in Lagos recently said the CBN is working with the credit bureaus so that a data base is built to identify bank customers who have issued dud cheques for three times in a given period. There is the Dud Cheque Act of 1977, which provides for the prosecution of issuers of dud cheques.

“But since nothing has been done with that document, the CBN is trying to do something within its own powers that will stop customers who are fond of issuing cheques on unfunded bank accounts.” He said.

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