Gain Access To Bank, GTBank begin closing client accounts that have actually traded cryptocurrency

by | Feb 13, 2021 | Cards | 1 comment

Consumers at a Gain access to Bank branch in Lagos, Nigeria in May2020

When it came time to pay, his Warranty Trust Bank and First Bank debit cards were unresponsive. He called a GTBank helpline and the message was clear; Chijindu’s account was closed in accordance with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria asking business banks to stop assisting in cryptocurrency deals in Nigeria.

” I will go [to the bank myself] because they are supposed to write to me or notify me,” Chijindu states.

A minimum of GTBank reacted to him and offered a factor. Chijindu confesses that he had undoubtedly traded cryptocurrency with the bank account. But he did not do so with his First Bank. His First Bank account officer did not react to his call that evening.

” I am confused. Did they utilize my BVN to obstruct my accounts?”

It’s a valid question; one bank verification number (BVN) can be utilized to connect numerous accounts coming from the very same customer. It stays to be seen whether more account holders will suffer exact same fate.

So I heard @gtbank have actually started closing accounts of people that have purchased crypto with their GTB accounts before. A good friend simply confirmed exact same with @UBAGroup … Anyways, up until I ensure whatever is going on … … Sai gobe! pic.twitter.com/CiuepMWxGM

— Adébólá (@Dumbgenius_ng) February 10, 2021

Where GTBank and First Bank closed Chijindu’s account without notice, at least one bank has sent account closure sends by mail with some explanation.

In a screenshot of an email gotten by a Gain access to Bank client and seen by TechCabal, the bank stated it reviewed the customer’s account activities and “observed that transactions therein have actually been linked to cryptocurrency trading.”

The e-mail goes on to say “Due to the uncontrolled nature of Cryptocurrency trading and the further regulation from the CBN, we are not able to work as your organisation’s financial partner going forward.

We have therefore continued on the closure of your account and a draft will be released to you for the equivalent amount in your account.”

Though the language of Access Bank’s e-mail describes this consumer as an organisation, the closed account belonged to a private, not a company.

The account closure email recommended the affected client to go to any of the lender’s branches around to ask for a draft of his account balance. Chijindu was likewise advised to do the exact same by the GTBank officer he talked to.

TechCabal sent numerous ask for remarks to communication representatives at Access Bank and GTBank, but had gotten no reply as at the time of this report.

The accounts closure seems the enforcement of a brand-new law on activities that were not prohibited when they were performed. Till the CBN’s current circular, it was all right for individuals to trade crypto with their bank accounts.

CBN’s 2017 circular did not illegalize crypto deals through Nigerian banks. Instead, it advised banks to be alert to any dangers that might be fundamental in facilitating crypto deals.

In action to the order, crypto exchanges have mainly moved their funds from Nigerian industrial banks.

While the CBN’s main factor is that cryptocurrency trades grant anonymity to individuals who may have malicious or deceptive intentions, some observers have pointed out that the majority of crypto exchanges do in fact have Know Your Customer treatments focused on dissuading scams.

Nevertheless, banks like Access and GTB presumably feel pressed to begin enforcing the CBN’s recent policy as a regulation to close all crypto-related accounts.

Among Nigeria’s leading 5 banks, Gain access to Bank runs in 12 nations and is planning an expansion to 8 African nations: Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia.

GTBank is embracing a holding business structure, to consolidate its banking gains and accelerate growth in payments. A billion-dollar IPO is on CEO Segun Agbaje’s roadmap. The bank has actually usually positioned itself to interest Nigeria’s more youthful population, particularly individuals in tertiary institutions and at the early phases of their careers.

That project lured people like Bolu who has been a GTBank client since she was an university student 6 years ago.

When she discovered that her account was closed, she called her account officer to discover how to resume it and was informed to write a letter promising to no longer trade cryptocurrencies. She has actually written the letter and will most likely continue banking with them due to the fact that she “really likes GTB” and it’s “simply simpler” than opening a new checking account in other places.

However Chijindu, a 30- years of age service advancement manager, is not impressed by this account closure experience and will not be banking with GTBank once again.

The loss of one client will probably not impact the bank but with numerous young Nigerians trading or having actually traded cryptocurrency, it is expected that more accounts will be closed. Then, the bank may just have a large issue on their hands.

Edwin Madu contributed to this report. Name altered to safeguard identity.

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