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SEC Vows to Fine Registrars N1m for Illegal Charges

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  • SEC Vows to Fine Registrars N1m for Illegal Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission has vowed to slam a fine of N1m on registrars illegal charges imposed on investors.

SEC, in its amended draft on the operating framework for the transmission of shares, said it had disallowed registrars from charging fees on the dematerialisation of share certificates and mandating of accounts for an electronic dividend.

It said charges were allowed only on change of address, name or mandate, and should attract not more than N100 per request while updating of signature capture and scanning should not be more than N200 per signature.

The draft said the fees chargeable for transmission of shares by registrars had been limited to one per cent of the total value and an additional five per cent Value Added Tax for shares of N5m and below, while shares above N5m would attract 0.5 per cent of the value and five per cent VAT, with a maximum chargeable amount of N200,000, excluding VAT.

It stated that fees chargeable for confirmation of probate or letter of administration should not exceed N12,000.

SEC said in a statement that any registrar that violated the provisions of the rules would be liable to a penalty of not less than N1m and an additional sum of N20,000 for every day the violation persisted.

It added that it had further reduced the time, processes and costs of the transmission of shares from a deceased to the beneficiary, in a bid to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the capital market and encourage beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends.

The statement read in part, “This effort will ensure a seamless transmission and claim of a deceased’s shares by heirs and administrators. The timeline for the transmission of the deceased’s shares has been reduced from three weeks to one week.

“Going by that, registrars shall ensure that shares of a deceased are transmitted within a week of receiving the request from the administrators or executors. The registrar is also required to transmit the letter of administration to the probate registry within 24 hours of receipt of same for verification.

“The administrator/executor is, however, required to provide a letter of introduction, introducing himself/herself as the legal representative of the estate. The letter should also indicate the names, addresses, signatures and Bank Verification Numbers of the individual administrators/executors.”

According to SEC, alsp required were original death certificates from the National Population Commission for sighting, original probate letter or letter of administration for sighting or the certified true copy from a notary public, copies of newspaper adverts placed by the court or gazette, evidence of ownership of the investment such as Central Securities Clearing System statement(s) of the deceased, original share certificates, dividend stub or dividend warrants or bank statement(s) showing receipt of dividend(s) into the account(s) of the deceased.

It said, “Where the administrator/executor cannot provide these requirements, the registrar may require confirmation through insurance, indemnity or interview.

“The new rules also seek to standardise the turnaround time for processing all requests for replacement and update from the date of submission of all relevant documentation. The turnaround time for dematerialisation is three working days; an update of signature capture and scanning shall take place in 24 hours while a change of address, name and mandate shall be done within two working days.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

CBN Directs Banks to go After COVID-19 Financial Criminals

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Godwin Emefile

Central Bank Asks Banks to Stay Abreast Frauds and Rising COVID-19 Financial Crimes

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all financial institutions in Nigeria to update alert protocols in their Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism monitoring tools, in accordance with emerging trends of rising COVID-19 related financial crimes.

In a circular titled, ‘Administrative letters to all banks and other financial institutions’ issued on Monday and signed by J.M. Gana, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, the apex bank said changes in business activities and financial transactions due to the shift caused by COVID-19 pandemic have led to the surge in financial crimes globally.

Therefore, it said financial institutions must now adapt quickly and keep abreast of the new emerging financial risks and other developments to arrest this new and emerging ML/TF.

According to the circular, this includes strategic investment in data mining and artificial intelligence software to monitor financial transactions effectively and report as quickly as possible.

The central bank said the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the central repository of suspicious transactions and other financial information, had released a comprehensive report on STRs and others.

It stated that the NFIU had identified cybercrimes, frauds, counterfeiting and substandard goods, diversion of public funds and misuse of non-government organisations funds as some of the ongoing crimes that banks across the nation need to stay abreast and report.

Other suspicious transactions and red flags identified in the report were some e-commerce companies with little or zero history or internet presence suddenly receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties.

Similarly, it said individuals with zero or little history of financial transactions receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties. It also noted that customers who suddenly start delaying in the supply or purchases of medical supplies and payment of goods linked to known brands, yet the beneficiary is an individual, not a corporate company should be flagged.

The measures, the apex bank said were necessary due to the rising numbers of unusual transactions from banks’ customers and unscrupulous individuals.

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Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance

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Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc said it has secured a US$40,000,000 finance guarantee facility from the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

In a note to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the lender said the facility would help boost access to finance for local businesses and enable increased international trade for Nigeria.

It explained that the facility “will support Union Bank to establish working partnerships with nearly 300 major international banks within the GTFP network, thereby broadening access to finance and reducing cash collateral requirements for Nigerian businesses.

“The facility will enable the continued flow of trade credit into the Nigerian market at a time when imports are critical, and the country’s exports can generate much-needed foreign exchange.

Under the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) terms of the agreement, GTFP offers benefiting banks partial or full guarantees covering payment risk on Union Bank’s trade-related transactions.

Accordingly, these guarantees are transaction-specific and may vary depending on underlying instruments like letters of credit, trade-related promissory notes, guarantees, bonds, and advance payment guarantees.”

Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, said, “Union Bank is pleased to join the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. This is a significant achievement as we continue to expand our trade financing offerings to our
customers. Even in these peculiar times, we remain focused on contributing to economic growth by developing tailored solutions that help our customers harness the teeming opportunities that still exist in the Nigerian market.

Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Keeping trade moving is essential to growth and job creation, especially during the challenging economic times we are living through today. We welcome Union Bank to IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program and value a partnership that will make a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.

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Apapa Customs Command Generate N367.6bn in Nine Months

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Nigeria Customs Service

Customs Command Apapa Realises N367.6bn Between January and September

The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command, said it generated N367.6 billion in the nine-month ended September 2020.

Mohammed Abba-Kura, the Customs Area Controller, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.

He said a total of 328 containers of goods worth N19.5 billion were seized during the period. This, he said represents an increase of 37 containers when compared to the same period of 2019.

Speaking further, Abba-Kura said the N367.6 billion realised in the first nine months of the year, represented a 17 percent or N54.1 billion increase from N313.5 billion it collected during the same period of 2019.

The Apapa Command generated N14.3 billion as revenue in the third quarter from customers’ duty and other charges.

He said “The difference recorded was made possible as a result of resilience of officers in ensuring that importers and agents are made to do proper declarations, adhere strictly to import/export guidelines in tandem with extant laws.”

Commenting on the seizures, Abba-Kura said, “These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions which range from false declarations, non-adherence to import/export guidelines and failure to comply with other extant regulations as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act.

“In the area of export trade, the period under review recorded exportation of goods worth N26,273,706,822 exported from the country.”

“These exported goods include mineral resources, steel bars, agricultural products among others with a total tonnage of 378,447 million tonnes free on board value of $85.8m. Similarly, the volume of export from January to September 2020 stood at N78.6bn with FOB $257,003,965.”

He added that the compliance level rose to about 60 percent during the period, highlighting the reason for the surge in the number of seizures made.

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