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Breaking: CBN fines FCMB,Fidelity Bank N514m for flouting cryptocurrency regulations

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has fined First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Fidelity Bank Plc and Wema Bank a whopping N514 million for failing to comply with regulations prohibiting customers from transacting in cryptocurrencies.

This pushes the total fines for contravening the CBN circular on cryptocurrency to a massive N1.315 billion for 6 Nigerian banks, based on data obtained by this online medium.

Recall that Nairametrics reported earlier that the apex bank fined three Nigerian commercial banks a total of N800 million for failing to comply with regulations prohibiting consumers from transacting in cryptocurrencies.

Updated breakdown of crypto fines

  • First City Monument Bank (FCMB) was also fined N400 million by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its failure to close four accounts of customers said to be involved in cryptocurrency.
  • Fidelity Bank Plc received a sanction of N14.28 million for cryptocurrency infractions, the bank said in its 2021 audited financial statement.
  • Wema Bank got a penalty of N100 million for contravening the CBN circular on cryptocurrency.
  • United Bank for Africa Plc was fined N100 million naira for a customer’s digital-currency transactions.
  • Access Bank Plc, the country’s largest lender by total asset, was fined N500 million for failing to shut down customers’ crypto accounts.
  • CBN penalized Stanbic IBTC Bank, the local unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., N200 million for two accounts allegedly used for crypto transactions.
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What you should know

  • The apex bank issued a circular on February 5, 2021, warning and reminding local financial institutions against conducting crypto transactions or enabling payments for crypto exchanges.
  • Hence, CBN  directed financial institutions to close the accounts of anyone participating in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges immediately.
  • Violations of the CBN directive resulted in a loss of N1.314 billion for 6 Nigerian banks.
  • The CBN has ignored pushback against its crypto regulation and has advised Nigerians to adopt its CBDC, the eNaira.
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