CBN Directs Bureau De Change Operators To Apply For New Licences

By Damilare Adeleye
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Dr. Olayemi Cardoso (Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all Bureau de Change operators (BDCs) in the country to reapply for operational licences.

The apex bank said it has introduced new licensing requirements and categories of BDCs. It said it had also revised the permissible activities.

The BDC operators have to reapply for them to continue to operate in the parallel forex market.

The CBN said the new development followed the conclusion of the “stakeholder consultations,” adding that the new guidelines take effect from June 3, 2024, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by Haruna B. Mustafa, CBN Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department.

It said, “As part of reforms to re-position the Bureau De Change (BDC) sub-sector to play its envisioned role in the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued the Draft Operational Guidelines for BDC Operations in Nigeria in February 2024, for stakeholder comments/inputs.

“Following the conclusion of the stakeholder consultations and in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 56 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the CBN hereby issues the attached Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau De Change Operations in Nigeria 2024 for compliance by all operators and promoters of proposed BDCs in Nigeria.

“The Guidelines, amongst others, introduce new licensing requirements and categories of BDCs as well as revise the permissible activities, financial requirements, corporate governance requirements and AML/CFT/CPF provisions for BDCs.”

It said existing BDCs and promoters of proposed BDCs are to “re-apply for a new license according to any of the Tiers or license category of their choice as provided in the Guidelines” and “meet the minimum capital requirements for the license category applied for within six (6) months from the effective date of the Guidelines”.

It said added that,“Applicants for new BDC license are required to meet the conditions for the grant of license in accordance with the Tier or category of BDC chosen as stipulated in the Guidelines.”

“These Guidelines supersede the Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureau De Change in Nigeria issued in November 2015 and all related circulars and directives.

“The Guidelines take effect from June 3, 2024,” it added.