Banking

Updated: CBN revokes Skye Bank’s licence, unveils Polaris Bank

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Licence

By Olawunmi Ashafa

Lagos, Sept. 21, 2018 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday, revoked the operating licence of Skye Bank Plc with immediate effect.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during a news conference in Lagos.

Emefiele said the decision was reached following the inability of the owners of the bank to shore up the capital of the distressed bank which had earlier received a N350 billion intervention in July 2016.

Skye Bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN.

“By this decision the licence of Skye Bank is hereby revoked,” he said.

Also the management of the distressed Skye Bank would be retained to continue to manage the newly licensed Polaris Bank.

According to the CBN governor, given the good performance of the board and management, the CBN shall retain them.

Also, Emefiele said based on discussion with the Nigerian stock Exchange, the shares of the distressed Skye Bank would be suspended from trading on the capital market until discussions are concluded. The shares had gained 4.05 per cent to reach 77k on Friday.

The CBN took over Skye Bank Nigeria Plc on July 4, 2016,

The action led to the resignation of the Chairman, all Non-Executive Directors on the Board as well as the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, and the two longest-serving Executive Directors on the Management Team.

You will recall that on 4th July 2016, we took a regulatory action on Skye bank Nigeria PLC. Specifically, this action led to the resignation of the Chairman, all Non-Executive Directors on the Board as well as the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, and the two longest- serving Executive Directors on the Management Team

At that time the proactive action was informed by unacceptable corporate governance lapses as well as the persistent failure of Skye Bank PLC to meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios, which culminated in the bank’s permanent presence at the CBN Lending Window.

The focus of the action then was to save depositors’ funds and to ensure that the bank continued as a going concern, being a systemically important bank. Part of our intention was also to stem the imminent job losses to staff if a liquidation option had been adopted. These objectives have been fully achieved and the bank has been able to meet customer obligations, having curtailed the liquidity haemorrhage and restored depositor confidence.

Indeed, the bank’s performance has improved considerably compared to the pre-July 2016 era.

The result of our examinations and forensic audit of the bank has, however, revealed that Skye bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN. The shareholders of the bank have been unable to recapitalize it.

We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank.

Given the good performance of the board and management, the CBN shall retain them. In addition, all employees of Skye Bank shall be absorbed by Polaris Bank under a new contract unless any employee decides to opt out.

We wish to assure the general public that the Nigerian banking industry remains safe and resilient and that the CBN will continue to live up to its responsibilities of promoting stability in the banking and financial system.”

Skye Bank Plc which has metamorphosed  into Polaris Bank was a product of the merger of five legacy banks as a result of the banking industry consolidation and recapitalisation exercise of 2005.  The legacy banks were Prudent Bank Plc, EIB International Plc, Bond Bank Limited, Reliance Bank Limited and Co-operative Bank Plc.

Following the merger, the bank opened  three West African subsidiaries in  Sierra Leone, Gambia and Guinea.

In 2014, the bank won the bid to acquire the 100 per cent ownership stake of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in Mainstreet Bank Limited, a deal which made Skye Bank one of the top four banks in Nigeria. But the move, may also have undermined its books as the bank was taken over by the CBN in 2016.

The defunct bank  is quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with over 450,000  shareholders..

Edited by Salif Atojoko

Banking

CBN’s monetary policy creates virile banking sector — Access Bank boss

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Access Bank Executive Director Victor Etuokwu says various monetary policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has created a virile banking sector, capable of safeguarding depositors’ funds.

Etuokwu said the monetary policies by the apex bank had also helped in sanitising the banking industry, restoring people’s confidence in the sector.

He spoke at the inauguration of a new Access Bank branch in Iree in Boripe Local government area of the state on Saturday.

“Banking is one profession that must be well regulated because people put their hard-earned money in it.

“I believe government and CBN has done well in that area because their concerns is all about safety of depositors’ money’’, Etuokwu said.

He added that the policy of Access Bank to spread branches in all the communities of Nigeria was rooted in the mindset that economy could not grow unless people were economically empowered.

Etuokwu noted that one of the ways in which local populace could be economically empowered was through bringing retail banking of that nature to their doorstep to stimulate access to credit facilities and business guidance.

He explained that in spite the inherent merit of internet banking, people still gave priority to face to face banking engagement.

He said: “We believe that internet banking is good, but branch network is also a good place for banking engagement because people still consider the need to engage in face to face transaction”.

Etuokwu said that Access Bank, in accordance with its branch network policy, would open another twelve branches within the South West zone in the next two weeks.

Earlier in his remarks, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, said that his administration was committed to strengthen of the micro-economy through robust Small and Medium enterprises.

Represented by his Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, Oyetola, said that one of the reasons his administration continued to work assiduously to create environment conducive for investors was to ban poverty among the populace.

The governor, however, said that the state was safe for commercial banks to do business, adding that the issue of internal security remained a cardinal consideration of policy formation and implementation in the state.

“One of the greatest economic measures to finance the economy and empower the people is through Small and Medium enterprises, which access bank is doing presently.

“What gives Osun a leverage on this is the utmost priority given to security for the purpose of entrenching factors for ease of doing business, in which security is integral’’, Oyetola said.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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Banking

NDIC pays N100bn liquidation dividends in 30 years—-MD

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said it had paid over N100 billion as liquidation dividends to depositors of closed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), in the last 30 years, with amount in excess of insured deposits.

The NDIC Managing Director, Allhaji Umaru Ibrahim disclosed this on Saturday in Sokoto
during the corporation’s 30th Anniversary celebration organized by the Sokoto Zonal Office.

The Managing Director, who was represented by Allhaji Hashim Ahmad, said that the total liquidation dividends declared by the Corporation for shareholders of DMBs-in-liquidation stood at over N4 billion.

“To date, the NDIC has paid the cumulative sum of over N8.25 billion as insured amount to 442,999 depositors of closed DMBs.

“The sum of over N100 billion has been paid by the corporation as liquidation dividend to depositors of closed DMBs with amount in excess of insured deposits.

“Also, the corporation had paid a cumulative sum of over N2.97 billion to 83,415 depositors of Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), in the system,” he added.

According to the Managing Director, in the past 30 years, not only has the corporation discharged its role as an active player in the Nigerian financial safety-net.

“It also guaranteed the funds of depositors up to the maximum limit stipulated under its enabling Act.

“In conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Corporation has also meticulously discharged its role as a risk minimizer through its involvement in the supervision of insured institutions,” he said.

He said over the years, the corporation was able to evolve and introduce different failure resolution options such as the Purchase and Assumption mechanism as well as Bridge Bank.

“This ensures minimal disruption to the payment, in handling distressed financial institutions to the admiration of other Deposit Insurance Agencies in Africa and the rest of the World,” Ibrahim said.

He assured that the corportion will continue to support the laudable economic policies and programmes of the Federal Government, just as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of protecting depositors in the country.

He said that the Corporation remains resolute and fully committed to the diligent discharge of its role as an active component of the Nigerian financial safety-net.

“This is particularly in the area of engendering confidence and contributing to financial system stability.

“However, the NDIC will in the years ahead continue to partner and collaborate with relevant local and international agencies in that regard,” he said.

The NDIC board member, Alhaji Bello Garba, stated that the Corporation had been able to demonstrate the uncommon capacity for efficiency and effective performance.

“This is to the extent that as we gather here today, we can confidently state that it has effectively implemented its mandate,” he said.

Also speaking, the Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mannir Dan’iya, represented by the Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Sagir Bafarawa, pledged the state government’s continuous support to the NDIC Zonal Office in Sokoto.

The Sokoto Zonal Controller, Mr. Johnson Anifowose, reaffirmed the commitment of the zonal office to continue to discharge its duty of ensuring financial system stability.

Edited by Tukur Muntari.

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Banking

Ghanaian authorities have no intention to confiscate Nigerians’ money – High Commission

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Nigeria High Commission in Accra, Ghana has refuted social media report that Nigerians living in Ghana without resident permit will not be able to withdraw their money from the banks as from November.

A statement signed by the Head of Chancery, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, the Mission described the report as ‘fake news’.

The Mission, therefore, assured Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to disregard the news, stressing “Relevant Ghanaian authorities have disclaimed such directives and appeal to all and sundry to remain calm.”

“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana has been drawn to fake news circulating on social media insinuating that some unnamed Ghanaian authorities have issued a directive forbidding non-resident Nigerians from operating bank accounts in Ghana.

“The fake news purportedly advised such Nigerians to withdraw their money from the Ghanaian banking system in order to avoid being blocked as from November, 2019.

“It ended by advising Nigerians to “be wise and get your documents to avoid this storm seeping away all you have laboured for years in a day,” it said.

The High Commission, however, assured all Nigerians with banking operations in Ghana to remain calm. (NAN).


BJO/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

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Banking

Financial inclusion: First Bank to engage 500,000 agents

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), First Bank Nigeria PLC, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said the bank will engage 500,000 agents across the country to ensure that its services were made available to people in every nook and cranny.

Adeduntan made this known on Tuesday at opening of the 12th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is “the future of Nigerian banking sector 360”.

The First Bank CEO said that the bank would support all effort to ensure effective financial inclusion in the country.

“We have a very ambitious plan to appoint about 500,000 agents across the nook and cranny of our country and to ensure that banking facilities and services are made available to our people.

“The Acting Governor of Central Bank, Joseph Nnanna, has also highlighted that the primary purpose for the Central Bank for choosing minimum loan to deposit ratio to 60 per cent is to stimulate the economy.

“This is because without credit, the economy cannot grow,” he said.

According to him, the banking sector remains the primary partners to government as far as economic growth and development are concerned.

He noted that change in the industry was unprecedented especially with the available technology and the leveraging on artificial intelligence, robotic operations, among others.

“If we do not integrate those opportunities and mainstream them properly the country and the entire economy will be left behind,” he added.

He called on participants to ensure robots participation in order to get blue print of what could help the sector for the growth and development of the economy.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Adeduntan is the chairman of the organising committee of the conference.

EMAF/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Banking

(Audio) CIBN scores Buhari administration high on banking regulation

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