The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have fined three banks in the country for up to 16 regulatory infractions.
The banks are Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, and United Bank for Africa Plc. They have been fined a total of N200 million.
The infractions for which the banks were fined range from violation of regulatory guidelines on money laundering, rendition of reports on politically exposed persons to failure to conduct due diligence on directors of some customers. The infractions were committed in the 2016 financial year.
Access Bank was fined a total of N49.475 million. GTBank was fined a total of N62.05 million while UBA was fined N87.64 million.
Chief Executive Officer of HighCap Securities, a securities and investment advisory firm, Mr. David Adonri, stated that there was need for the three banks to strengthen their compliance departments as well as their compliance-related activities in order to avoid future fines.
He said, “The three banks involved in these 16 infractions are very big banks and, as such, it is difficult for controls to be 100 per cent. Along the line, there may be infractions that will attract regulatory sanctions. Having said that, it is not a good development for those contraventions to be happening. Measures must be taken to exert greater controls to avoid re-occurrence in the future.
It is not a pleasant development because some of the infractions are heavy. Take for instance the infraction that bothers on violation on the AML/CFT; it makes the fight against terrorism difficult and it is a threat against national security. The banks need to be up and doing to forestall a re-occurrence.”