FirstBank Closes Customers' Cryptocurrencies Accounts - EDU-BIZNEWS


Friday, February 12, 2021

FirstBank Closes Customers' Cryptocurrencies Accounts

Nigeria's top  commercial bank, First Bank Nigeria Limited has closed Cryptocurrencies Accounts of its customers, following the last February 5 directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria to all financial institutions in the country.

Responding to the directive by CBN, First Bank in a message to its customers on Friday, tittled "Mandatory closure of account", said that facilitating payments for Cryptocurrency exchange had been prohibited and such accounts are hereby closed .

Edu-Biznews recalled that the apex bank warned investors against further Investment in the Cryptocurrencies which had also been restricted in financial institutions in several countries including  China, Canada, Taiwan, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia.

 CBN in its directive to banks and financial institutions reads in parts

 “The recent regulatory directive became necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerians (including the youth population) from the risks inherent in crypto assets transactions, which have escalated in recent times, with dire consequences for the integrity of the financial system and financial stability.

“Due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are largely speculative, anonymous and untraceable they are increasingly being used for money laundering, terrorism financing and other criminal activities.

“Small retail and unsophisticated investors also face high probability of loss due to the high volatility of the investments in recent times.

“In light of these realities and analyses, the CBN has no comfort in cryptocurrencies at this time and will continue to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians to desist from its use and protect our financial system from activities of fraudsters and speculators.”

For those who are not conversant with the universe of cryptocurrencies, CBN explained that it was important to state that cryptocurrencies “are digital or virtual currencies issued by largely anonymous entities and secured by cryptography.”, the statement stated

First Bank's message to customers reads in parts 
"Further to its earlier directives that dealing in Cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for Cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has written the letter: BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/14/001 dated 5 February 2021, to direct that all banks, non-bank financial institutions and other financial institutions should identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating Cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately".

"In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria directives, please be informed that any account identified as transacting in or operating Cryptocurrency exchanges within our system will be closed accordingly".

 The banks however re-assured its customers of continuous support to meet their banking needs.

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