The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled plans to introduce a unified foreign currency (FCY) gateway bank to streamline all correspondent banking operations.
In a televised interview on Monday, CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso outlined short and medium-term strategies aimed at addressing Nigeria’s foreign exchange challenges, including the establishment of a Gateway Bank.
“The introduction of a single FCY gateway bank aims to consolidate all correspondent banking activities, currently dominated by two major players in the correspondent banking sector,” Cardoso stated.
This initiative represents a crucial component of the CBN’s medium-term plan to stabilize the forex market and improve the management of Nigeria’s international financial transactions.
The proposed move is part of a broader reform agenda articulated by the CBN to enhance forex inflows and stabilize the Naira.
According to Cardoso, correspondent banking, which facilitates international trade and economic transactions by enabling domestic banks to conduct cross-border business and provide services to clients, is currently dominated by two major banks in the Nigerian banking sector.
However, specifics regarding whether these banks are local or foreign entities, as well as the legal framework for establishing a gateway bank, remain unclear.
The establishment of a central gateway bank aims to disrupt this concentration, fostering more efficient and transparent financial operations in line with global standards.
Furthermore, Governor Cardoso highlighted the CBN’s efforts to bolster surveillance and technological capabilities to effectively monitor cryptocurrency transactions in response to the evolving landscape of digital finance.
The proposed creation of a Gateway Bank marks a significant step towards enhancing Nigeria’s financial infrastructure and ensuring greater resilience in the face of economic challenges.