The Nigerian authorities have softened their stance towards Standard Bank with the removal of a potential multibillion-dollar liability on Stanbic IBTC, its subsidiary in the country. Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender, said on Tuesday the Central Bank of Nigeria would no longer be debiting accounts of the bank’s Nigerian subsidiary for $2.63bn as part of a "refund" the Central Bank of Nigeria had proposed, in relation to monies Standard Bank had remitted on behalf of MTN Nigeria. In August, the central bank said it would be seeking to recover $8.1bn from MTN Nigeria and four banks that assisted the company in remitting dividends equivalent to the same amount to its home country, SA. It said the repatriation of dividends from Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 was unlawful, and that it would be imposing fines on banks involved in effecting the payments on MTN’s behalf, namely Standard Bank’s Nigerian subsidiary, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Diamond Bank.

Earlier in Septemb...

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