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South African Bank Does Damage Control in Maputo

Standard Bank has appointed an unnamed acting CEO to replace the outgoing country MD, Adimohanma Chukwuma Nwokocha, who was fined by the Bank of Mozambique this week for fraudulent activities, following an on-site inspection by the bank. Also fined was Domingos Francisco Madeira, director of corporate and investment banking “for serious infringements of prudential and exchange rate nature,” according to a statement by Bank of Mozambique. Standard Bank was fined the equivalent of $4.6 million and suspended from currency exchange activities for a year. Both senior bank officials are debarred from management functions in the financial sector for six years. The fines were imposed on the bank and its two senior officials for manipulating exchange rates, setting up an illegal payments system outside the country and carrying out irregular financial derivatives operations to hedge exchange rate risks, among others. The statement says Standard Bank is cooperating with Bank of Mozambique to remedy the irregularities. Last week Club of Mozambique reported that Standard Bank customers with foreign currency accounts suddenly found themselves unable to access their salaries. This followed the decision by the Bank of Mozambique to suspend all activities involving the conversion of foreign currency in the foreign exchange markets.