Nigeria’s Central Bank has revoked the license of more than 4,000 Bureau De Change operators (BDCs) weeks after sharing important rule changes for their operations. 

The affected operators failed to pay necessary fees, render returns or comply with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations, the apex bank said in a statement on Friday. 

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective,” the statement said. 


The revocation of the licences comes just four days after the Central Bank reversed its three-year stance on selling dollars to eligible BDCs.

The U-turn came days after the Central Bank released new rules for BDCs that required them to be more transparent. Under the new rules, operators must have external auditors, digitally integrate with the CBN, and link all transactions to an active bank verification number (BVN). The Central Bank also increased the minimum capital requirements for BDCs to N2 billion for Tier 1 license holders and N500 million for Tier 2 licenses.

This range of measures by the Central Bank seeks to give the apex bank insight into transactions from the parallel market. On Wednesday, the National Security Adviser (NSA) arrested two Binance executives after authorities demanded to see a list of Nigerians who use Binance for peer-to-peer trading of the USDT/NGN.

“What we’re hoping to accomplish by this, frankly, is to bring some sanity to an industry that arguably no longer serves the interests of those whom it was meant to protect,” CBN governor Olayemi Cardoso said at the end of the rate-setting meeting on Tuesday.

TechCabal reported on Monday that the fear of being arrested by officials of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has driven currency traders away from street trading. 

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