By Babajide Komolafe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned banks over appointment of chief compliance officers. In a circular titled, “Statues of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks”, the apex bank frowned at the practice where banks refuse to appoint substantive chief compliance officers.
The circular signed by Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation department, Mr. Nwaoha I.T said, “ Available information has revealed that some banks, discount houses and development banks do not have substantive chief compliance officers and that the officers, who occupy such positions in these institutions are doing so in an acting capacity and for a long period of time.
“We, therefore, wish to state that these practices have neglected the following on the appointment of chief compliance officers: The CBN dated 8th August, 2002, which directed the affected financial institutions to appoint chief compliance officers, not below the grade of General Manager to, among other things, enforce the provision of the relevant acts and circulars of money laundering at various levels of your institutions; and Section 9(1) of the money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) which requires them to designate, at management level, chief compliance officers in their head offices and branches, who have the relevant competence, authority and independence to implement their institutions, AML/CFT compliance programme. This requirement is reiterated by section 1.40 of the AML/CTF regulation, 2009 (as amended), issued by the CBN.
“Pursuant to the above, you are requested to forward the particulars of your current chief compliance officers and the letters of approval obtained from Banking Supervision Department, CBN, to the acting director, financial policy and regulation department, not later than two weeks from the date of this letter. A nil submission is required in cases of non-compliance, please.”