CBN fixes $1m as capital requirements for international money transfer operators

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has fixed $1m as the minimum share capital requirement for International Money Transfer Operators in the country.

This was revealed in its revised guidelines for the operation of IMTOs, which were officially released via its website and signed by the Director, Trade &Exchange Department, Dr. Hassan Mahmud.

The latest directive from the apex bank followed policy reforms to boost the foreign exchange market in Nigeria and encourage fund remittance through legal channels.

According to the guidelines, applicants must comply with the CBN’s anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism, and countering proliferation financing of weapons of mass destruction regulations

On required documents, the CBN said, “Any IMTO intending to operate in Nigeria shall submit its application to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department with the following documents: A non-refundable application fee of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira only) or such other amount that the bank may specify from time to time; payable to the CBN through electronic transfer or bank draft.

“Approval to operate in other jurisdictions or agency agreements (for all IMTOs). Minimum share capital of $1million for foreign IMTOs and the equivalent for indigenous IMTOs.”

The bank said that compliance with the above requirements and receiving a favourable outcome would avail the applicant of an Approval-In-Principle to proceed to open bank account and process pre-operational processes.

“An APl cannot be used by an IMTO to commence operations, and the AlP may be withdrawn if the IMTO does not meet the requirements stated above,” the CBN added.

To get final approval, the central bank said “AlI IMTOs shall submit an application to the CBN for final approval not later than three months after obtaining APl subject to the fulfilment of the following requirements: Names of Authorized Dealer Bank(s) to serve as local agents and a copy of the agency agreement. Submission of a detailed business plan to the CBN, which includes the following: a. Nature of the business, Internal control systems and monitoring procedures, and more.”

Also, an IMTO would be required to pay an annual renewal fee of N10m or any amount that the bank may specify from time to time on or before January 31st of the year. Renewals of IMTO licences are expected to be done within the first quarter of every year.

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