Thisday|| Speaking at the media briefing following the Banker’s Committee Meeting, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onasanya while responding to questions on the recent 75 per cent Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) imposed on public sector deposits by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said the resolution of the crisis in Iran as well as the impact of the tapering and investment outflow from Nigeria, were major factors that led to the indirect monetary tightening measure.

In fact, the First Bank boss revealed that the central bank informed the committee that it may further hike the CRR to 100 per cent if it does not see improvement in foreign exchange earnings.

Once you move from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, there is only a limit to how far you can go and the worst case scenario is to move to 100 per cent,”

The measure was taken in order to ensure that we continue to address the exchange rate problem in Nigeria. We also agreed that there is a need to do a lot more to ensure that there is accretion to external reserves as a basis for defending the currency which is a major focus of this regime.

There is no country that will just allow its exchange rate to be left and not managed. The mere fact that those actions have been taken also indicates the fact that the central bank is willing to do everything within its power to ensure that the currency is not devalued,” he explained.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe,said the Bankers’ Committee would launch a biometric solution by Friday. The Access Bank boss stated that the committee over the years, been working on improving Know-Your-Customers (KYC) in the industry. This, he said would fight money laundering and encourage consumer lending.

“Hopefully with this, all the banks would be able to strengthen their KYC and to combat money laundering and of course prevent fraud,” Wigwe said.

In order to promote financial inclusion, the Deputy Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mrs. Cathy Echeozo said the committee agreed that on March 13th, the CBN governor, the deputy governors of the CBN and bank chief executives would go round schools across the country to campaign on the need for every one to have a bank account.


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