Reps To Probe Banks, Other Financial Institutions Over Non-Compliance With CBN Directives

Forum 3 weeks ago

Reps To Probe Banks, Other Financial Institutions Over Non-Compliance With CBN Directives

The House of Representatives has resolved to conduct an investigative hearing on the non-compliance by banks and financial institutions with Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, directives on the Net Open Position Limits.

The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance on the need for banks to implement CBN’s policies on holding excess long foreign exchange and net open position limits, moved at the plenary on Wednesday by Hon. Babajimi Benson.

Moving the motion, Benson explained that CBN is saddled with the responsibility of regulating the monetary policies of the country as provided for by the CBN Act.

He said in the performance of this duty, the CBN is empowered to make regulations and give directives for commercial banks and certain financial institutions to implement.

The lawmaker added that Section 8 (4) and (5) of the CBN Act requires that the CBN Governor is expected to brief the relevant Committees of the National Assembly during the semi-annual hearings as well as provide periodic reports on the performance of the economy to the National Assembly.

He expressed concern that there had been a steady rise in the exchange rate of the Dollar in comparison to the Naira, adding that it rose to N1,520 in the last week.

Benson expressed worry that the astronomical rise has been caused by diverse market forces and certain economic policies adopted by the government, including the liberalisation of the Dollar.

He also lamented that commercial banks and certain financial institutions in Nigeria usually hold back a large part of forex they obtain, either through purchase, borrowing or allocation from the CBN, rather than lending to their customers, with a view to selling it when the exchange rate is high.

Benson noted that this speculative activity by commercial banks and certain financial institutions has further exacerbated the harsh economic situation in the country and led to difficulty by legitimate businesses to obtain forex for their business transactions.

He emphasised that the CBN has intervened by introducing new monetary policies to check the rise in the rate of the Dollar among which are the Net Open Position Limits and holding excess long foreign exchange.

The lawmaker stated:
“We are also aware that commercial banks and certain financial institutions are reluctant to implement the monetary measures put in place by the apex bank to check this unwholesome practices by banks and other financial institutions in the country.”

Benson was of the opinion that unless drastic legislative measures are taken to enforce the implementation of these directives, the country would continue to experience dire economic hardship as a result of continuous rise in foreign exchange rates.

The House resolved to
“mandate the House Committees on Banking Regulations and Banking Institutions to conduct an investigative hearing on the non-compliance by banks and financial institutions with CBN directives on the Net Open Position Limits”.

It further mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure full implementation.

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