CBN sanctions nine banks over $2.334 billion NNPC funds –

Nine of the deposit money banks in the country have been banned from further foreign exchange transactions for their refusal to remit outstanding $2.334 billion Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) funds in their coffers.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that wielded the big stick said it was forced to impose the ban for the refusal of the banks to remit the outstanding sum into its Treasury Single Account (TSA), as directed by the Federal Government last year.

The banks affected include United Bank for Africa (UBA), $530m; First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), $469m; Diamond Bank Plc, ($287m); Sterling Bank Plc, ($269m); Skye Bank Plc, ($221m); Fidelity Bank, ($209m); Keystone Bank, ($139); First City Monument Bank, (FCMB) $125m; and Heritage Bank, ($85m).

But in a swift reaction, the banks accused the CBN of trying to de-stabilise the market, claiming that the apex bank already owed Nigerian banks up to $3billion from unfunded letters of credit (LCs), since last year, before the TSA regime.

It was reported yesterday about the CBN conducting stress tests on the banks to determine the strength of each of the financial institutions after the withdrawal of public funds from the banks.