As expected, the directive by the CBN lifting the ban on forex deposits into bank accounts has not gone down well with most depositors. The CBN in a recent announcement, lifted the ban it placed last year on forex deposits into banks and then banned the sale of forex to CBN from its official window. Analysts believe the move was to help plug the liquidity gap that may appear due to the shutting out of the BDC operators.
Unfortunately, depositors are not having any of that as the latest directive by the CBN was silent on forex transfers or even withdrawals suggesting that it might be a trap. Currently, there is a freeze on forex transfers out of domiciliary accounts and withdrawing forex deposits is also nearly impossible due to scarcity of the green back. A report by the Punch further buttresses this view citing investigations from three commercial banks, namely GTB, FCMB and First Bank.
For commercial banks, accepting deposits is also not something they are particularly excited about as they also do not have a way of exporting the cash from their system. If banks accept deposits, they any interest on it and only gain when they can in turn lend out the money or get their depositors to withdraw from their ATM’s thus losing guaranteed fees.