- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unfrozen the accounts of Bamboo, Risevest, and others.
- The accounts were frozen in 2021, with CBN alleging they engaged in illicit forex transactions.
- While the CBN did not give reasons for lifting the ban on the accounts, it has instructed all concerned banks to inform the firms about the development.
The CBN has ordered that the bank accounts of fintech investment firms; Bamboo, Rivevest, Chaka and 437 other companies should be unfrozen.
The accounts were placed on a post-no-debit restriction which stopped them from making debit transactions. Essentially preventing them from taking money out of the account, but allowing inflows.
According to Punch, the CBN circular notifying banks of the development read, "You are hereby directed to vacate the Post-No-Debit restriction placed on the accounts of the under-listed bank customers at our instance. You are also required to inform the concerned customers of the vacation accordingly."
Why did CBN freeze Bamboo, Chaka and Risevest accounts?
CBN froze the accounts of Bamboo, Rise, Chaka, and Trove in 2021. It said they were operating without a license as asset management companies.
It said they were "utilising FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 01, 2015.”
It argued that their accounts needed to be frozen for 180 days because they were making the naira weaker.
Weren't the accounts unfrozen in 2022?
There were news reports in June 2022 that a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the accounts of Bamboo and others to be unfrozen.
However, with a new report today saying the accounts have been unfrozen, it is not clear if they were frozen again after June 2022 or if the ban on the accounts was not lifted despite the court order.