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Banks and FinTech Are No Longer Allowed To Make International Money Transfers - CBN says

2 months ago   MARKET NEWS   Lagos   547 views Reference: 297

Location: Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned banks and financial technology companies, known as Fintechs, from operating International Money Transfer services (IMTOs).

This move is aimed at maintaining stability in Nigeria's foreign exchange market and promoting fund remittance through legal channels. Prior to this ban, Fintechs in Nigeria were licensed to operate IMTOs, exempt from the 2014 guidelines that restricted deposit money banks from serving as IMTOs.

In 2021, approximately 47 approved IMTOs included Fintechs like Flutterwave and Interswitch. The CBN's guidelines now prohibit all banks from directly operating IMTOs but allow them to act as agents. Furthermore, Fintech companies are no longer permitted to seek approval for IMTO services.

The circular also raises the application fees for IMTO approval to ₦10 million, sets a minimum operating capital of $1 million for foreign IMTOs, and imposes an annual renewal fee of ₦10 million. Renewals are required within the first quarter of each year, and banks are instructed to cease transactions with IMTOs that fail to provide CBN renewal copies within this timeframe.