You (an average Joe) don’t have a bank account at a local bank let alone an account with HSBC or UBS, but you are crying foul that HSBC and UBS, which serve high-net-worth clients, mostly politicians and their cronies, are leaving Nigeria.
What exactly is your pecuniary interest in this matter?
In America, because of their antecedents, HSBC and UBS are mandated to report all transactions to our top regulatory agencies (FINRA, SEC, FED RESERVE, et al).
Because of this, they did not threaten to withdraw from the U.S. market, and they did not only comply with these directives, for they also paid billions in fines.
This is the ecosystem that I operate on a daily basis, so don’t lecture me on this one.
Now, considering the facts that money-laundering activities have increased in Nigeria (think of how MTN laundered its untaxed profits out of Nigeria), CBN asked these two entities, just like they asked other banks, to comply with our extant laws, but they (HSBC and UBS) conjured up a story that questioned the policies of the Buhari administration.
Subsequently, they are leaving the market.
You and I know why they are leaving, but, at this point, facts don’t matter to those who are hell-bent on displacing Buhari from power.
Look, when our economy is robust enough, no foreign bank can undermine us.
If they want to exit the market, let them go; after all, developed markets have oversaturated, so HSBC and UBS will soon return to Nigeria, an emerging market.
Trust me on this one.
This is not to applaud the Buhari administration (far from it), but we must all be sincere in our criticism of this government.
It is not my job to champion this administration or any administration for that matter, but it is my job to analyze available facts in the public domain.
If HSBC and UBS can conform with our extant laws in the United States, it should be no different in Nigeria.
By the way, if you know any American entity (including their third-party vendors), which may be involved in any form of “apparent bribery/enticement to secure contracts,” let me know.
This may be your getaway ticket to the United States, and you will also be greatly rewarded by our regulatory agencies.
Written by Akintunde F. Adeyemo (JD)