First City Monument Bank has issued an alert order on accounts held by it’s customers between the ages of 18-30, mandating staff to watch out and flag such account if suspected of engaging in large volume transactions.
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An internal email of the bank leaked out on social media titled “Compliance Advisory on Cryptocurrency Dealing/Transactions” is in furtherance of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ban on the trading of cryptocurrency in the country.
Accounts “with high volume transactions operated by individuals between the age brackets of 18-30 years as signatories,” should be flagged for possible fraudulent activities by staff members, the memo said.
Other account types with similarly discriminatory guidelines include youth savings accounts, business savings accounts, personal business accounts, amongst others. The bank did not define what constitutes a high volume of transactions, but the account types listed captured all of its available packages for Nigerian youths.
The internal email urges staff to monitor the listed accounts for red flags “in order to make the Bank safe and protected from the activities of criminals, organized gangs, money launderers and terrorist financiers.”
This compliance advisory comes after the CBN ordered all Nigerian commercial banks to freeze the accounts of certain entities for purportedly trading in cryptocurrency. Diutocoinnews reported that two individuals, cryptocurrency trading and blockchain company Cryset and Seven others had been named in a Post-No-Debit directive issued by the banking industry regulator.
The FCMB’s memo marked the latest escalation in the enforcement of the CBN’s directive. Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution prohibits discrimination against citizens under whatever guise. FCMB did not return calls and e-mails seeking comments about the leaked memo to staff members.
It was unclear whether or not other banks have instituted similar controversial policies against young people, but a spokesman for the CBN Osita Nwanisobi said banks were not asked to enforce the ban on cryptocurrencies on the basis of age or other forms of discrimination.