*Licences 308 new BDCs in 2016
By Babajide Komolafe
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, said that it has recertified 3,147 bureaux de change (BDCs) operators and 71 finance companies (FCs).
Vanguard investigation reveals that the recertification of the BDCs follows the payment of N786.8 million (N250, 000 per BDC) annual licencee renewal fee.
Meanwhile, the apex bank licenced 308 BDCs and two new finance companies in 2016. The apex bank disclosed this in the updated list of BDCs posted on its website yesterday.
The list reveals that the number of BDCs increased from 2,998 at end-June 2016 to 3,147 as at January 10, 2017. This indicated that the CBN granted operating licences to 149 new BDCs in the second half of 2016 which added to 159 new licences it granted in the first half of the year, to bring the total to 308 in 2016.
CBN also revealed that the number of FCs increased from 69 as at June 2016 to 71 as at year end indicating that the apex bank licenced two new FCs in the second half of the year, bringing the total new FC licences in 2016 to five.
According to the CBN half year report for the finance companies sub-sector, “The number of licenced finance companies (FCs) stood at 69 at end-June 2016, including the three (3) newly licenced that were yet to commence operations. Total assets of FCs at end-June 2016 stood at N109.43 billion compared with N128.58 billion at end-December 2015, reflecting a decrease of 14.89 per cent. Nevertheless, funds available to the sub-sector increased significantly to N1.19 billion at end-June 2016 from N0.12 billion at end-December 2015, arising from the injection of new capital. FCs’ balances with banks increased by 24.48 per cent to N3.33 billion from N2.68 billion at end-December 2015, resulting in increased liquidity in the subsector.