Banks still charging parallel market rates as naira returns to ‘business as usual’ – The Cable

Nigerian-banks

Deposit money banks (DMBs) are still charging their customers parallel market rates for foreign exchange transactions done via the bank’s naira debit cards, TheCable can report.

Many banks are transacting at the “floating” interbank market rate of N280 to N284 to the dollar, while some have banned international transactions with naira cards altogether.

In a mail sent by Stanbic IBTC to its customers on Tuesday, the bank said it was charging N310 to the greenback, as against N283, which the interbank market traded on the same day.

“We wish to inform you that you can now stay up date on our card rates by simply visiting our website,” the mail read in part.

The bank went on to say: “Please find below our current card rate: 1GBP = 424.07, 1USD = N310, 1EUR = 341.63. Please note rates may vary from time to time.”

The three currencies traded at the interbank market on Tuesday at 371, 283 and 310 respectively, showing a variance of N53.07 on the pound, N27 on the dollar and N31.63 on the European currency.

Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank were also charging between 330 and 340 against the US dollar.

First Bank, Diamond Bank and Zenith Bank do not even allow their naira debit cards to be used for dollar transactions.

PARALLEL MARKET RETURNS TO BUSINESS AS USUAL

The situation on the parallel market is also returning to business as usual, as the effects of the new foreign exchange regime are gradually fading out of the market operations.

On Monday, the naira lost ground to the dollar, falling from 345 on Friday to 347, only to fall further on Tuesday to 352.

A bureau de change operator who spoke to TheCable from Abuja on Tuesday evening was “thankful to God” that the market was “recovering” in favour of BDC agents who bought the dollar at prices above 350 a few weeks ago.

Before the new forex regime kicked off, the naira was trading above 355/$1, but fell to 330 as at the start of the regime, only to depreciate gradually towards its previous position.

The Central Bank of Nigeria said in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari that it is reasonably optimistic that the naira would settle at N250.