Nigerian financial institutions, guarantee trust bank (GTB) and access bank have closed the account of customer over alleged involvement in digital currency trading.
The move by the top-tier lenders is sequel to the banning of trade that involves Bitcoin and other digital currency in Nigeria by the central bank. According to screenshots shared on social which showed corresspendence between a customer and one of the financial institutions, the bank cited unrestrained nature of cryptocurrency trading and CBN directive for its action. Access Bank and GTBank closed Bank Accounts of individuals with traces of #cryptocurrencies transactions in their Accounts.
pic.twitter.com/F4XLmkFGvV — Naija Gossip (@BNaijaBlog) February 12, 2021 It directed the customer to commence process of account closure which would swiftly be followed by issuance of draft commensurate with funds in his account. The supreme Bank had cited the use of digital currency to perpetrate fraud as one the reasons for banning it. It averred that digital currency provides massive cover and inoculate traders from the intrusive gaze of regulatory bodies because it leaves no trails or paperwork.
It added that many unsuspecting members of the public have been swindle in their bid to invest in digital currency. The apex bank decision was greeted with outrage and backlash with many describing the ban as a retrogressive policy which is capable of stunting the country’s growth and eroding the gains made in the area fintech and other critical sector of the economy.
Others opined that it is part of the government’s effort to further impoverish the people and prevent them from attaining financial freedom which gives the government the power to subject them to its whims. Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate has been divided over the issue with lawmakers from the north, a largely conservative region teeming with high number of out of school children, on the one hand, throwing their weight behind CBN policy.
While, on the other hand, lawmakers from the south, a region known for its preponderance of liberal minds and high literacy rate, vehemently opposed banning of cryptocurrency trading in country.