James Emejo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline given to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country to comply with the new capital requirements for the industry.

It fixed July 31 as the new  compliance deadline with a warning that it would cease to fund any BDC which fails to comply after the expiration of the deadline.

The apex bank in a new circular to BDC operators, titled: “Extension of Time for Compliance with the New Requirements for the Operation of Bureau De Change in Nigeria” and signed by CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Mr. Kevin Amugo, a copy which was made available to THISDAY stated that interest would be paid on the mandatory cautionary deposit of N35 million based on the banking industry savings account rate.

It added that only BDCs which meet the new requirements would qualify to be engaged as agent by the licensed International Money Transfer Operators for inward and outward money transfer business in the country.

The CBN further explained that the decision to rescind the earlier deadline was based on representations from stakeholders who had asked for an extension to enable them comply with the new requirements.

It however, advised all BDCs that paid the mandatory caution deposit of N500,000 to the CBN prior to 2009 to apply for their refund.
The CBN had last month announced a new minimum capital requirement of N35 million for the operation of BDC firms in the country, up from the N10 million previously stipulated by the apex bank.

But a number of BDC operators had called for an extension of the July15 compliance deadline for the new capital requirement on grounds that it could hamper economic growth, cause job losses and lead to the closure of many BDCs if the recapitalisation time frame was not reviewed.