The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has published the names and account numbers of some customers who allegedly defied the forex policy of the CBN.
The individuals were said to have applied for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and bought cheap dollars at the bank but did not use it for the purpose.
The account numbers and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of the defaulters were included in the publication on the bank’s website.
According to the bank, the beneficiaries committed the offence after applying for fake tickets or visas.
The UBA disclosed this in a publication on its website titled ‘CBN FX defaulters,’ at the weekend.
It stated that it took the step “In compliance with the directive of Central Bank of Nigeria mandating banks to publish the names of defaulters of the forex exchange regulation.
“Based on regulatory directives, the following customers cancelled their trips and failed to return the PTA availed to them despite several emails, text messages and follow up phone calls.”
The bank added that the customers presented fake visas to apply for PTA.
Banks had earlier sent messages to their customers to notify them that travellers who bought foreign exchange from banks for travel purposes but failed to embark on the trip two weeks after their scheduled travel date must return the forex to the banks.
According to the banks, this was a directive from the CBN.
The banks had also disclosed that defaulting customers who presented fraudulent travel credentials or cancelled their tickets and failed to refund the purchased PTA and BTA within two weeks, as stated in the signed customer declaration form, would have their identities and bank verification numbers published.
The CBN had in a circular to all banks dated August 30 and signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Mr. Haruna Mustafa, stated that the trend if not curbed, presented a risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.
“CBN, therefore, directed banks to publish on their websites within two weeks the names and BVN of defaulting customers who presented fake travel documents or cancelled their tickets and failed to return the purchased PTA/BTA, as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them.”
Speaking at the end of bankers’ committee press brief, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, had noted that: “Banks have been criticised for not being able to handle PTA and BTA transactions and just to let people know that we would continue to exercise the due diligence required concerning KYC and compliance.
“FX is a scarce resource, so if we find people coming up with tickets that have expired or tickets that are going to be cancelled, or illegitimate passports or people buying more than they are supposed to buy, they will be reported to law enforcement agencies. People should comply with the rules as stipulated by the CBN.”