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CBN Orders Fintech Firms OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, Moniepoint To Suspend Onboarding of New Customers

CBN has directed fintechs OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint to suspend new customer onboarding until further notice.

CBN headquarters
CBN Headquarters

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered  four fintech companies to suspend the onboarding of new customers until further notice.

The affected fintech firms, namely OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint, have come under scrutiny due to allegations of their accounts being utilised for illicit foreign exchange transactions.

According to reports, representatives from two of the companies acknowledged that the CBN’s directive is connected to these allegations.

However, they expressed concerns that the directive might be misdirected, highlighting that the majority of the implicated accounts are held by commercial banks rather than fintech platforms.

Earlier, it was reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had obtained a court order to freeze at least 1,146 bank accounts owned by individuals and companies allegedly involved in illegal foreign exchange transactions.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on the ex-parte motion presented by the anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, granted the commission’s request to conclude the investigation within 90 days.

Although the verdict was issued on April 24, its certified true copy was provided on Monday.

The EFCC is also investigating other offences, including money laundering and terrorism financing.

An examination of the list of affected accounts reveals that the majority are deposit money bank accounts.

The EFCC stated in its request for the account freeze that its preliminary investigation indicated the accounts were linked to individuals exploiting virtual cryptocurrency exchange platforms to manipulate the Naira’s value illegally and launder proceeds from unlawful activities.

It cited the necessity to preserve the funds in the identified accounts pending the investigation’s conclusion and potential prosecution.

Despite a court order citing most of the accounts involved in alleged illegal forex trading as commercial bank accounts, the banks have not been instructed to halt new customer onboarding.


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