In a conference call at the weekend, the chief executive of First City Monument Bank, Ladi Balogun, told reporters that Nigerian banks have stopped receiving foreign currency deposits as the over $1 billion cash sitting in their vaults is of no use to them and the depositors have refused to sell.
The FCMB CEO disclosed further that banks are no longer accepting dollar cash due to large speculation on the currency. Many of the banks have at the weekend sent emails to their customers to notify them of the new development, citing the unavailability of outlets for managing the inflow of foreign currency cash deposits as reasons.
The CBN had at the weekend commended the move by commercial banks to curtail the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits, saying it is in line with global best practice. A statement by the CBN director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Mu’azu, reads, “We note and applaud that in line with global best practice Nigerian banks have started to curtail the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits, much the same way as customers in other countries cannot just walk into banks and make foreign currency cash deposits without proper documentation.”
As at last week friday, the value of the naira appreciated at the black market, rising to N215 to the dollar and N350 to the British Pounds. Traders at the black and bureau de change markets said that they expect the value of the naira to further appreciate this week on the back of the move by the banks.