CBN bars foreign banks from banking businesses


By Ismail Auwal

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned foreign banks operating representative offices in Nigeria from providing services designated as ‘banking businesses’ among other aspects of services.

In its guidelines for the regulation of foreign bank representatives offices in Nigeria, the apex bank said the foreign banks shall not engage in the following services/activities; “Provision of services designated in Nigeria as banking business; Provision of any commercial or trading activity that may lead to the issuance of invoices for services rendered; and Acceptance of orders on behalf of the foreign parent; and engage directly in any financial transaction.’’

The guideline, according to the CBN, complements its regulation on the scope of banking activities and ancillary matters.

However, the CBN guideline added, “Representative offices of foreign banks serve an important purpose of showcasing the brand and services of its parent company. It can also stimulate foreign direct investment to the host country by connecting capital to various investment opportunities.

“It is in view of these that the CBN issues these guidelines, to specify the requirements for the licensing and operations of approved representative offices of foreign banks in Nigeria.”

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