Keystone Bank, others re-admitted after evidence of fx sales to SMEs


Keystone Bank was yesterday readmitted into the spot and wholesale forwards segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sequel to the provision of evidence of sales of FX to Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SME) since the introduction of the special window for small businesses.

The CBN had banned fourteen banks from participating in the weekly wholesale spot and forwards intervention market leaving only eight banks.

According to the CBN, the banks were sanctioned for not adhering to the FX supply policy to SMEs thereby frustrating the efforts of small businesses that needed FOREX.

The eight banks that were not suspended include; Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Plc, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

However, the CBN had re-admitted Keystone Bank along with a number of other banks to participate in the weekly wholesale spot and forwards intervention, after it had verified that the bank was in compliance with the sale of FOREX to small businesses through the SME FX window.

Speaking on the development, the Acting Managing Director of Keystone Bank, Mr. Hafiz Bakare said, “SMEs are an integral part of the economy of Nigeria and as such we at Keystone Bank are committed to supporting this sector. We are pleased to have clarified the banks position with the CBN as we have always shown support for SMEs through our work with farmers, manufacturers, schools and other business owners”.

Bakare further stated that Keystone Bank will always support the CBN in ensuring the growth and development of the economy.

The FX supply policy to SMEs was introduced as a means to provide small scale businesses with a lifeline as findings showed that they were being crowded out by larger scale firms in the FX market. Under this special arrangement, companies with staff strength of between 10 to 199 and an asset base of N5million to N500million were offered the opportunity.