While we’re on the subject of foreign currency withdrawals in line with the CBN mandate, it won’t hurt to answer a few questions that might be burning in your hearts as per this issue.
- Q: Can a customer transfer funds from his domiciliary account with Sterling Bank to his domiciliary account with another bank?
A: Yes; provided the source of funds is foreign currency (FCY) inflow and not cash deposit
- Q: What options are available to a customer who wants to submit domiciliary FCY transfer request to the bank?
A: Domiciliary transfer requests can be submitted through our digital platforms (Sterling OnePay, OneBank or SterlingPro). Hard copy requests may also be submitted through any of our branches nationwide.
- Q: What documents are required for domiciliary transfers?
A: Customer’s simple instructions in addition to other documents like registered form M in case payment is for purchase of goods or supporting invoice(s) where payment is for services
- Q: Is there a limit to the amount an account holder can transfer from the domiciliary account?
A: Limits may only apply where the source of fund is cash otherwise customers may transfer up to the available amounts in their account subject to appropriate documentation. In case of cash based transfers, limits are as per CBN regulation and the bank’s internal policies from time to time.
- Q: Can a customer transfer funds from their export domiciliary account to their account with another bank?
A: No. Funds in the export domiciliary account may only be used by customers to either finance their own eligible trade transactions subject to appropriate documentation or sold to the bank
- Q: Can a customer sell funds from their ordinary domiciliary account to other customers?
A: No. Customers can however sell funds to the bank who will in turn sell to customers for eligible trade transactions.
- Q: A customer has a EUR invoice to settle but only maintains a USD domiciliary account with the bank. Any solution to this request?
A: Yes; the EUR transfer will be effected and customer debited with the USD equivalent based on Treasury advised rate.
- Q: A customer’s domiciliary FCY transfer request for payment of goods supplied locally by a Nigerian company was declined because of dollarization policy. What is dollarization policy and how does one verify that a transfer request is not inconsistent with the policy?
A: The CBN policy on Currency Substitution and Dollarization of the Nigerian Economy states that pricing of goods and services in Nigeria shall continue to be in Naira only. Implication is that payment for goods supplied locally and services rendered locally in Nigeria shall be in Naira only.
However, operators in the following industries are exempted from the dollarization policy:
- Federal Inland Revenue Service
- Nigerian Ports Authority
- Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
- Federal Maritime Agency of Nigeria
- Nigerian Airspace Management Agency
- Nigerian Shippers Council
- Operators in the Oil and Gas including Oil Services Companies
- Operators in the Maritime and Aviation Industries
- Licensed Operators in the Export Processing and Free Trade Zones
- Q: Account numbers sometimes come with various codes that are difficult to understand. What are the common codes used for international payments and what do they represent?
A: Some international payment codes and their meanings are provided below:
- Routing Numbers: These are 9-digit branch locators adopted by USA. It’s also called FEDWIRE (FW). It is symbolized as “//FW” Example: //FW123456789
- Sort Codes: These are 6-digit branch locators adopted by United Kingdom. It is symbolized as “//SC” Example: //SC123456
- IFSC Codes: IFSC means Indian Financial System Code. These are 11 digits branch locators adopted by India. It is symbolized as “/IFSC:” E.g /IFSC:ABCDXXXXXXXXXXX Where ABCD represents the Bank Code
- IBAN: International Bank Account Number. As NUBAN is to Nigeria, IBAN is to other countries in Europe, UAE, Turkey, etc. It is mandatory for transfers to UAE, and better for other countries. Where customers state account number and IBAN for the same beneficiary, adopt the IBAN.
- BLZ: These are 8 digits branch locators adopted by Germany. It is symbolized as “/BLZ:” E.g /BLZXXXXXXXX
- BSB: These are 6 digits branch locators adopted by Australia. It is symbolized as “/BSB:” E.g. /BSBXXXXXX
Q: Funds transferred on behalf of a customer was returned by the beneficiary bank a couple of days after with explanation that the beneficiary bank could not apply the funds but the full amount was not credited to the customer’s account. Any reason for this?
A: The shortfall is a result of bank charges. The charges deducted by local and offshore charges at transaction processing are not refundable even where funds are returned by the beneficiary bank.