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CBN orders Opay, Moniepoint, other fintech banks to halt new customer registrations over FX manipulation suspicion

Following a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), four Nigerian fintech companies, Opay and Moniepoint, Palmpay, and Kuda have suspended the enrollment of new customers.

An official from one of the fintech firms, speaking anonymously, confirmed compliance with the directive. Another fintech official suggested the directive is linked to foreign exchange (FX) transactions, an area unrelated to their business. Attempting to open a new account with one of the fintech platforms resulted in a message indicating inability to complete the process.

This development coincides with CBN’s efforts to combat illicit foreign exchange transactions, including those involving cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso disclosed that $26 billion flowed through Binance Nigeria from unidentified sources in one year, prompting collaborative efforts with various agencies to address illicit financial flows.

On April 23, the EFCC announced the freezing of over 300 accounts linked to illicit FX trading, with a federal high court in Abuja granting an interim order to freeze 1,146 bank accounts, predominantly operated by commercial banks, along with some fintechs, over unauthorized FX transactions.

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