Standard Bank says Nigeria may review penalty in MTN funds case

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The logo of South Africa's Standard Bank is seen above the company's headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Lagos Nigeria, Sept 25 – Standard Bank said the Nigerian central bank (CBN) may review a decision to penalise its West African unit for allegedly breaking the law in helping South African mobile phone group MTN send money abroad.

Stanbic IBTC Bank is one of four banks that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleges helped MTN illegally repatriate $8.1 billion.

“The CBN has written to advise the Bank that it will examine new submissions and documentation made by the Bank, and where justified, it will review its earlier decision on the penalty it imposed on the Bank,” Standard Bank said on Tuesday.

The possible review comes a few days after the central bank said additional information from MTN may lead to an “equitable resolution,” helping shares in the South African wireless phone operator rebound.

By 0738 GMT, MTN stock was up 1.6 percent to 81.50 rand.

Stanbic was fined 1.8 billion naira ($5.9 million) for its role in sending the money abroad. The CBN also fined Standard Chartered 2.4 billion naira, Citi 1.2 billion naira and Diamond Bank 250 million naira.

Standard Bank also said the CBN would not be debiting Stanbic for $2.6 billion, which the CBN said was the bank’s portion of MTN’s $8.1 billion funds which had been sent abroad. ($1 = 305.2800 naira)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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