FX transactions: CBN directs Opay, Moniepoint, others to halt registration of new customers


Two Nigerian fintech companies have paused enrollment of new customers following a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

The affected fintechs are Opay and Moniepoint.

 

Confirming the development to on Monday, an official at one of the fintech firms, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they have started complying with the directive.

 

“I can tell you that compliance is on. You can try onboarding to see that we have complied,” the official said.

 

Another fintech official also confirmed the situation, hinting CBN’s directive is related to foreign exchange (FX) transactions, which the firm has no business with.

 

The development is coming amid the federal government’s effort to address illicit foreign exchange transactions in the country as well as operations of Binance and other cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

 

On February 27, Olayemi Cardoso, CBN governor, said $26 billion passed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year.

 

Cardoso said the apex bank was collaborating with different agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the police, and the office of the national security adviser (NSA) to tackle illicit financial flows in the country.

 

On April 23, the EFCC said it froze over 300 accounts linked to illicit foreign exchange (FX) trading.

 

Meanwhile, in a ruling delivered on April 24, a federal high court in Abuja has granted an interim order to the EFCC to freeze at least 1,146 bank accounts belonging to individuals and companies over “unauthorised foreign exchange” transactions.

 

An analysis of the 1,146 accounts blocked by the EFCC shows 90 percent of the accounts affected are operated by commercial banks, while 10 percent are operated by fintechs.

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