Banks ration forex sales as scarcity bites

Banks have begun to reduce approval requests for Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance to legitimate users.

The legitimate users will be able to access forex only once in two quarters, The Punch gathered.

Before this new development, the banks had been granting approval to travellers who applied once every quarter.

Findings revealed that the development arose due to the lingering forex scarcity in the financial system.

First Bank said in a mail to its customers on ‘Updates on FX purchase’ that “The full Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance ($4,000 and $5,000) respectively will now be disbursed into your FirstBank Travel Card. All applications will be in line with regulatory requirements.

Kindly ensure that all PTA/BTA applications along with the approved Form A are submitted at the branch exactly 14 days before your proposed travel date. Sales are limited to two quarters a year.”

A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Prof. Mike Obadan, said in his personal statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria after the last Monetary Policy Committee that access of forex was a challenge.

He said, “On the part of the monetary authority, there is no doubt that it is in a difficult situation because of excess demand for foreign exchange in the face of rather uncomfortable foreign exchange supply situation.

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