The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined Access Bank Plc, Stanbic Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA), a total of N800m for cryptocurrency-related transactions.
The fines reeled by the apex bank are part of the CBN effort to enforce its decision to ban cryptocurrency transactions from the official banking system.
The apex bank had on February 5, 2021, released a circular which placed a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions and a regulation policy to all commercial lenders. This was made after CBN concluded that these transactions posed a threat to the Nigerian financial system.
Following the directive of the CBN, most banks and financial institutions closed down the accounts of individuals or entities that transact or operate in cryptocurrency.
According to Bloomberg, Access Bank Plc was fined N500m for not closing customers’ crypto accounts since 2021.
United Bank for Africa Plc was also fined N100m over digital-currency transactions by a customer.
Stanbic IBTC Bank, a unit of the Standard Bank Group Ltd. was fined N200m($478,595) for alleged crypto transactions traced to two accounts.
Bloomberg quoted the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, Wole Adeniyi, claimed the transaction may have passed its system undetected.
“It doesn’t seem that they are going to entertain a refund, but they are now sharing intelligence with us to be able to kind of deter clients”, he said.