The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said the alleged deduction of one billion naira fine from Stanbic IBTC Bank’s account was in the national interest.
An official of CBN, who pleaded anonymity while confirming this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said he could not immediately give details, but the apex bank would issue a statement on the matter later.
Mr Chidi Okezie and Mrs Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, Secretary and Ag. Head, Marketing and Communications of Stanbic IBTC Bank, made the allegation in a statement.
The bankers’ bank, had on Aug. 28, ordered MTN and four banks, including Stanbic IBTC Bank to refund eight point one billion dollars illegal capital repatriation from their Nigerian operations to offshore investors.
This allegation was swiftly denied by Stanbic IBTC with claims that it did not violate any regulation on money remittances.
The bank, however, assured stakeholders that the situation would not affect their transactions with the bank.
The affected banks, Citibank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank, were to repay the sum of five point eight seven billion naira for allegedly issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) on behalf of some MTN offshore investors.
Standard Chartered Bank was fined two point four billion naira, Stanbic IBTC one point eight billion naira, Citibank Nigeria one point two billion naira and Diamond Bank, two hundred and fifty million naira.
MTN was also directed by the apex bank to refund eight billion dollars to its coffers.
“ “But Stanbic IBTC has not breached any extant laws relating to CCI executed on behalf of MTN.
“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC as well as our banking subsidiary maintain our position on this matter which is the fact that the Bank has done nothing illegal.
“And accordingly, the Bank will continue to provide CBN with documents and details in support of our contention that our actions in relation to these transactions were not illegal,’’ the statement said.
Going by point-to-point rebuttal, the letter from the bank examined different allegations contained in the CBN’s letter.
“Regarding the claim that the shareholders of MTN Nigeria invested the sum of four hundred and two million, five hundred and ninety thousand, two hundred and sixty-one dollars in the company from 2001 to 2006, the bank states as follows:
“The twenty CCIs transferred to our bank by Standard Chartered Bank and which in the above quoted sum were re-issued from existing CCIs that had been issued by Standard Chartered Bank to the original investors in MTN.
“These CCIs were transferred to our Bank to facilitate the repatriation of the proceeds of MTN’s Private Placement which took place in February 2008,’’ the statement said.
The Stanbic IBTC Bank reiterated its preparedness to engage with the CBN in order to resolve the matter.