The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a new directive to banks. The CBN asked banks and other financial institutions to pay particular attention when conducting transactions with businesses and individuals in certain countries. The countries specified by the apex bank include Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam. The directive is contained in a circular released on Thursday and signed by Chibuzo Efobi, director of CBN’s financial policy and regulation department.
Efobi said the CBN’s decision to issue the warning is based on the resolutions reached at a recent plenary session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF is an intergovernmental policy-making body that seeks to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. According to FATF, jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with it to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
TheCable had reported that the FATF, in February, added Nigeria and South Africa to its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring Efobi further warned banks that Iran, Myanmar, as well as North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), remain on the FATF’s “black list” of high-risk jurisdictions.
“The attention of banks and other financial institutions is drawn to the outcomes of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary conducted from June 21-23, 2023, and subsequent addition of Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam to the list of jurisdictions under “Increased Monitoring,” the circular reads.
“Furthermore, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions subject to “Call for Action”. “Consequently, enhanced due diligence should be applied, and in severe cases, counter-measures may need to be implemented to safeguard the international financial system.” The apex bank also reminded financial institutions that the suspension of the Russian Federation’s membership in the FATF due to its invasion of Ukraine remains in effect.
“Fis are to remain vigilant and be alert to possible emerging risks resulting from the circumvention of measures taken to protect the international financial system,” the circular adds. “In light of these developments, Fis are directed to Note all addition to jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring” as well as high-risk jurisdictions subject to a “Call for Action” and take necessary measures to mitigate these risks effectively.”