As CBN says lenders in good shape
Nigerian lenders along with other financial institutions in Africa are to benefit from a training for African respondent banks to enhance their ability to obtain and maintain correspondent banking relationships. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) announced the launch of a series of training workshops for the continent’s bankers.
The first round of workshops, which started virtually on Tuesday and will last until 29 July 2021, is primarily geared toward compliance and risk management staff, as well as transaction banking business line and credit officers from private sector and central banks across Africa.
In the current context where access to correspondent banking services is becoming increasingly costly due to heightened regulatory expectations, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing, the three-day training sessions is expected to provide an overview of important elements to be considered by respondent banks when establishing new correspondent banking relationships. Attendees will participate in in-depth discussions on respondent best practices for due diligence, maintaining relationships, and working with money service businesses and fintech companies.
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Afreximbank identified BAFT as a strategic partner in the initiative, utilising the BAFT respondent playbook, the industry leading approach to capacity building.
“We are thrilled to launch such an important capacity building initiative in cooperation with Afreximbank in markets deeply affected by correspondent banking de-risking,” said Tod Burwell, BAFT president and CEO. He hoped that participants gain new knowledge and insight on ways to strengthen relationships with correspondent banks.
Denys Denya, Afreximbank’s executive vice president in charge of finance, administration and banking services, said, “as part of Afreximbank’s correspondent banking and trade services strategy, the pan-African financial institution has been supporting banks in member states to have access to international banking market by providing them with trade finance lines and advisory services.
Denya said improving the capacity of African banks to enable them to access correspondent banking services is also a key part of Afreximbank’s mandate and capacity building is a major activity in this regard.
The training is coming in the wake of the recent statement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that said Nigerian deposit money banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions under its watch are in good shape. Osita Nwadinobi, acting director, corporate communications department of the apex bank, said, Nigerian banking system had proven to be very resilient in spite of the global challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
A recent routine bank examination and stress test for financial institutions operating in the country revealed that no DMB licensed by the CBN was currently under any form of financial distress, an indication that the banks have adequate capital and strength to absorb unexpected losses that may arise.