What We Experienced Trying To Buy Forex From Some Banks


Nairametrics| The new CBN’s forex policy has been in operation for a little over two weeks now. The policy has seen the exchange rate in the parallel market drop from as high as N520 to as low as N450 last week. It has depreciated again to about N475 according to our Forex tracker.

A critical pointer to the success of this policy is supply availability and this relies on commercial banks serving the retail market, which includes those looking to buy forex for PTA, School fees and medical tourism. The CBN has also recognized this and issued a circular over the weekend instructing commercial banks to set up dedicated tellers in their branches for FX sale as well as displaying FX rates on their display boards.

A staff of Nairametrics did a brief window shopping on five commercial banks in the Ajah area of Lagos. Our investigations suggest all the banks confirmed that they had FX but mostly directed buyers to their head office or regional branches.

First stop was Fidelity Bank a stone throw from the Abraham Adesanya roundabout. A bank staff in the customer care section confirmed that Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) was available, subject to submitting the required documentation namely copies of the passport page, air ticket and a letter applying for the funds.

The Zenith Bank next door said they had not been advised on the sale of FX, but that one could try another branch. Diamond Bank, Ajah branch also confirmed the availability of FX.

Next stop was the First Bank located at the Landmark Centre, Ajah. The customer care officer also confirmed the availability of FX, subject to the conditions stated by the CBN.

Customers of Stanbic IBTC, Ikota branch would have to go to the Banks’s branches at Walter Carrington or Idejo in Victoria Island to purchase Personal Travel Allowance (PTA).

Final stop was at GT bank, Ajah where customers were directed to the bank’s branches in Chevron or Lekki to purchase forex per the CB directive. Ironically, while most of these banks said they don’t have forex to sell, they accepted FX deposits in both dollars and pounds.

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