In a bid to address foreign exchange crisis in the economy, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has said that the banks were working with the CBN in dealing with retail foreign exchange challenges, saying the new foreign exchange policy of the CBN was on course.
He disclosed this at a pre-world press conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), on 22nd World Conference on Banking Institutes (WCBI) scheduled to hold in Lagos in April 2017.
The Fidelity Bank Chief explained that the CBN’s directive was to decongest the market with demand for PTA/BTA and school fees while dealing with big ones with Letters of Credit (LCs).
However, commercial banks have cleared substantial backlog of foreign exchange demand for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Business Travel Allowance (BTA) and school fees, following the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the tune of $2 million weekly in the market.
While responding to the issue of future of Nigerian banking in relation to rising non-performing loans and capital adequacy ratio of banks, CIBN president, Segun Ajibola said it was a challenging moment and if there was disequilibrium in one major sector, it would have spillover effects on other sectors.
“Banking industry is service industry. If what it is servicing has one challenge or the other it will have effect, global economy is undergoing a number challenges and in state of disequilibrium.
“As things are gradually taking shape, you will that disequilibrium disappearing to reach equilibrium position thereby the high NPL and other rates will be corrected,” Ajibola said.
Speaking on the conference, Ajibola said hosting the conference in Nigeria at this time is very timely and auspicious considering that the country is in search of variable alternatives towards repositioning the Nigerian economy, “we want to reflate our economy and attract investments into the country.”
He said with 49 high profile speakers and facilitators from across all continents, made up of 24 foreign and 25 Nigerian speakers and with delegates expected from all continents of the world, the event is truly global and international.
The objective of the conference includes to review and keep abreast of changes in the domestic and global financial systems, to underscore the crucial role played by the banking and financial services sector in the global economies, and among others to understand the impact of technology and globalization on the financial services sector and how it can be effectively applied in service delivery, both to bank customers and in banking education and training.
The conference themed, Re-thinking the Future of Banking and Finance and Life-long Learning, provides a platform for delegates to review what has been accomplished in the financial services sector in the last decade, with emphasis on the revolutionary banking reforms that occurred in different countries of the world following the global economic crisis of 2008 and 2009.
Similarly, Ajibola, had said that adoption of digital currencies in some economies will impact the future of the global payment system.
While examining the impact, of digital currencies on payment and settlement systems in the future, Ajibola stressed the need for financial regulators and other industry stakeholders to envisage the threat posed by the digital currencies.
“The adoption of cry to currencies, particularly the bitcoin, in recent years in some economies, is poised to have an overarching impact on financial transactions across the world.”
According to him, the virtual currency, which is traded without middlemen such as banks, other financial institutions or regulatory institutions’ interference like Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, has the power to greatly impact entrenched traditional payments and settlement system.