By Babajide Komolafe
The Bankers Committee yesterday decided that banks should no longer charge commission on foreign exchange transactions for Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), payment of medical bills and school fees.
The Committee also agreed that banks should charge uniform exchange rate of N360 per dollar for the above transactions.
Managing Director/ Chief Executive, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mrs. Hamda Ambah disclosed this during a press conference at the end of the Committee’s meeting held in Lagos yesterday.
She spoke in company of the Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Citi Bank Nigeria, Mr. Akinsowon Dauda; Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr. Demola Shogunle and the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Abdullahi.
Ambah said: “It was agreed that the foreign exchange that banks sell to their clients for PTA, BTA, school fees and medical bills, that henceforth, all banks should charge N360 per dollar and there would be no commission or whatsoever charged by the banks for such sales. We want to make sure that this is uniform across all banks. Customers should report any bank that goes outside of this.
“It has actually been N360 for a while, but some banks in addition were charging commission. The banks buy at N357 from the CBN”
On his part, Demola Shogunle of Stanbic IBTC said that the Committee decided to be involved in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government with a view to boost job creation.
He said: “Bankers committee overwhelmingly agreed to be embedded in the programme. The banking community will participate actively to the extent that it will lead to job creation and additional investments in the economy.”
Meanwhile, the Bankers Committee has decided to impose stricter measures to enforce the repatriation of export proceeds, as a way of boosting the nation’s external reserves.
Disclosing this, Akinsowon “Dauda of Citi Bank Nigeria said: “In the spirit of supporting the reserves and the impressive growth, sorts of stricter measures were agreed regarding the repatriation of export proceeds, particularly oil export proceeds. A 90-day moratorium has been agreed for customers and corporate clients who have repatriated their export proceeds within the stipulated timeframe, for any delays to clear. After that, the CBN has the right to sanction any customer that defaults. This sanction may include banning people from the forex window or more stringent measures. We think this is very important as a body to ensure that the rules are adhered to.”