By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN , has rolled out conditions for rejecting entities or individuals applications for license to operate a bank or other financial institutions (OFIs).
CBN disclosed this today in its guidelines for Licensing of banks and OFIs anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and countering proliferation financing of weapons of mass destruction.
Highlighting the conditions, the CBN said:”The conditions for rejection of an application for license or a party to an application shall include:Failure to demonstrate understanding of the ML/TF/PF risks inherent in the business;
“Inability to address the AML/CFT/CPF licensing requirements satisfactorily, especially during the capital verification exercise; Misrepresentation of facts and false declaration;
“Criminal record of a party to the application indicating conviction or any other offense that constitutes financial crime; Opaque ownership structure;
“Discovery that a party to the application is on the sanctions lists of United Nations Security Council (“UNSC”); United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”); Her Majesty’s Treasury, United Kingdom (“HMT”); European Union (“EU”); French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry (MINEFI); Nigerian sanctions list; And any other sanctions list as may be advised from time to time;
“Inability to address observed deficiencies in licencing application within specified timeline; And any other condition that the CBN may specify.”
In a circular signed by the Director Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Chibuzo Efobi, the apex bank said that the guidelines was in furtherance of its efforts towards promoting compliance with Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) laws and regulations.
It further said:” The CBN hereby issues this Guidelines for use by individuals and entities applying for licence to operate as banks or other financial institutions.
“This Guidelines represents the minimum AML/CFT/CPF requirements for licensing of new financial institutions and should be read in conjunction with applicable AML/CFT/CPF laws, regulations and other CBN licensing requirements applicable to the institution-type for which the licence is sought.
“The scope of this Guidelines covers both new and pending applications (including those awaiting final approval).
“The Guidelines will assist promoters of financial institutions to comply with AML/CFT/CPF requirements while applying for operational licences.”