A Professor of investment, Uche Uwaleke, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for sanctioning four Nigerian banks and MTN Nigeria for regulatory infractions, advocating investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to bring those indicted to justice.

Uwaleke, who gave the commendation in an email to Business Eye, noted that by sanctioning the affected banks, the apex bank demonstrated that the country’s financial markets had laws that must be complied with by all operators.

The Head of Department of Banking and Finance at the Nasarawa State University, advised the apex bank to go beyond the fines and invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fish out those behind the infractions as they could not have been possible without collaborators both from within the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and the CBN.

He said: “So, beyond the fines imposed on the banks, it is vital that the EFCC is involved to fish out with a view to prosecuting individuals or professional services firms that aided these banks to perpetrate the use of fake Certificates of Capital Importation, fraudulent conversion of investors’ loans to preference shares and rendering false returns to the CBN.”

According to him, the implications of the actions of the banks and the telecommunication services provider for the economy are anything but salutary.

While noting that the affected foreign banks account for the bulk of capital imported into the country, Uwaleke projected that the illegally repatriated forex would have contributed to the pressure on the exchange rate which negatively impacted production and the general price level.

“According to the NBS capital importation report for Q2 2018, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC were responsible for the bulk of capital importation during the quarter,” Uwaleke said.

He insisted that the development could roll back the plan by MTN to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This is even as he predicted that the action by the CBN “will no doubt change this narrative at least in the near term. Perhaps the stock market will be worst hit.

“Two of the affected banks namely Stanbic IBTC and Diamond Bank are listed companies on the stock exchange and the fall in their share prices could drag down the banking index as investors are most likely to shy away from banking stocks till this issue is sorted out.”

“Our regulatory agencies, should continue to ensure that the Multinational companies operating in Nigeria particularly in the oil, banking and telecom sectors comply with extant laws,” Uwaleke added.

It would be recalled that the CBN had last week indicted the banks and the telco on breaching of forex guidelines. The apex bank also accused MTN of illegally converted shareholders’ loan of $399, 594,146 to preference shares.

And as a punitive measure, the CBN sanctioned the four banks. While Standard Chartered Bank was fined N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion, and Citibank Nigeria, N1.26 billion, the Diamond bank will cough out N250 million.

However, MTN was asked to refund $8 billion.