Abuja - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the minimum capital requirement for Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators from N10 million to N35 million.
Notice of the increase is contained in a statement signed by Isaac Okoroafor on behalf of the bank.
He said the development was in line with efforts to address deficiencies in the operations of BDCs in the country.
He stated that the Bank made the modification in order to ensure that only genuine companies operate as BDCs in Nigeria.
He also stated that new fees had been approved for licensing of BDCs, noting that application fee was N100 000, licensing fee was N1 million, while Annual Renewal Fee was N250 000.
He warned that ownership of multiple BDCs was not permissible and punishable if detected.
"All existing BDCs and those currently operating with a Final Approval Letter are required to comply with the requirement on mandatory cautionary deposit by July 15, 2014.
He said the compulsory membership of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) was no longer a requirement for licensing of BDC.
Explaining the new directive, he said that deficiencies in the operations of BDC had brought about sharp practices in the foreign exchange market.
On observations in BDC operations, he said the bank observed in particular, the avalanche of rent-seeking operators who were only interested in widening margins and profits from the foreign exchange market, regardless of prevailing official and interbank rates.
Okoroafor stated that under the Guidelines, Western Union, Moneygram and RIA Financial Services had been authorised to carry out inward and outward money transfer services in Nigeria.
This, he added, would facilitate the creation of robust and sustainable business franchises that would not be dependent on rent-seeking activities.
He said it would be properly situated to compete in the foreign exchange market and deliver superior values and returns.
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