CBN Places $1m As Capital Requirements For International Money Transfer Operators-Report

In a move to fortify the foreign exchange market and streamline fund remittance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set a new benchmark, requiring International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to maintain a minimum share capital of $1 million.

Dr. Hassan Mahmud, the Director of the Trade & Exchange Department, officially unveiled these guidelines via the CBN’s website.

In the released statement, the CBN emphasized the imperative for applicants to adhere to anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and proliferation financing regulations. Dr. Mahmud underscored the importance of legal fund remittance channels, urging compliance with the outlined requirements.

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To operationalize these guidelines, aspiring IMTOs are required to submit a non-refundable application fee of N10,000,000.00 and demonstrate approval to operate in other jurisdictions or present agency agreements. Foreign IMTOs must maintain a minimum share capital of $1 million, while indigenous counterparts must meet the equivalent in their respective currencies.

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While an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) is granted upon fulfilling initial conditions, the CBN clarified that an AIP alone cannot initiate operations. Final approval hinges on the submission of names of Authorized Dealer Banks as local agents, a detailed business plan encompassing internal control systems, and compliance with specified criteria.

The CBN emphasized the time-bound nature of the approval process, requiring IMTOs to seek final approval within three months of obtaining AIP. Annual renewal fees of N10 million are stipulated, payable by January 31st each year. The CBN’s move reflects a strategic effort to regulate and bolster the operations of IMTOs, ensuring a more transparent and secure environment for international money transfers.

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