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Bankers Move to Reduce Non-Performing Loans

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Bankers in the country and West Africa have been urged to reduce the amount of non-performing loans in the Deposit Money Banks’ books by coming up with policies that will minimise credit risks.

The West African Bankers Association said the move would help to cut down on the amount of bad loans in member countries’ financial services sector and promote profitability.

The President, WABA, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Nwade, stated this during the 34th anniversary of the association in Lagos recently.

The event had its theme as: ‘Driving economic growth from the bottom of the pyramid: Banking the unbanked.’

Nwade, who lauded Nigerian banks for deepening their branch network in West Africa, however, stressed the need to reduce the number of loan defaulters in the sub-region.

He said, “A major issue before us is the credit risk management within the West Coast. We have some clients that borrowed within Nigeria for a number of times. The facility was secured by a debenture trust deed.

“These companies at some point in time decided to secretly take off and relocate within West Africa. So, they easily take a lot of loans in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia; and when they have this, they skip West Africa.”

The president said the organisation was formed by the governments of the Economic Community of West Africa States in August 1981 with the mandate to deepen payment system and trade, and foster integration within the sub-region.

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, emphasised the need to empower people at the bottom of the pyramid to enable them to contribute to economic growth.

The governor, who was represented by the Branch Controller, CBN, Lagos, Mr. J.O. Iyare, said, “Poor people should be empowered so that the economy can grow. We need to look at our micro finance policies.

“Financial inclusion should be done practically when poor people are empowered to drive economic growth and development. We should not be theoretical by staying in the cities and allowing many people to remain poor.”

Punchng

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

CBN Maintains 11.5 Percent Monetary Policy Rate, Leaves Other Ratios Unchanged

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The Central Bank of Nigeria led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has left the interest rate unchanged at 11.5 percent to further stimulate activities in the real sector of the economy.

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed this at the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said other parameters, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Liquidity ratio, and asymmetric corridor, were left unchanged.

According to the Governor, the committee voted unanimously to maintain the current monetary policy and attributed the surge in inflation to structural policies, the increase in pump price and the recent #EndSARS protest.

Highlights of CBN-MPC’s  Decision

  • MPR was kept at 11.50%
  • The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
  • CRR was retained at 27.5%
  • Liquid Ratio was also kept at 30%

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Finance

Unity Bank Grew Gross Earnings by 8 Percent to N34 Billion in Nine Months

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Unity Bank Plc grew gross earnings by 8 percent despite COVID-19 and other headwinds that hurt the profitability of most businesses in the first nine months of the year.

A break down of the bank’s unaudited financial results for the period showed gross earnings rose by 8 percent to N33.91 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, up from N31.26 billion posted in the same period of last year.

The lender’s total assets rose by 44 percent from N293.05 billion in the corresponding period of 2019 to N420.87 billion in the period under review.

Unity Bank grew profit before tax from N1.61 billion in 2019 to N1.71 billion in the period under review, while profit after tax expanded from N1.48 billion in the corresponding period to N1.57 billion in 2020.

Customers’ deposits stood at N332.36 billion during the period under review, up from N257.69 billion posted in 2019.

Commenting on the performance, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Unity Bank Plc, expressed delight at the strong growth recorded across the bank’s balance sheet, especially from both the liability and assets side of the business and across key indices.

She said, “even as the bank continues to innovate in its e-business product bouquet to target and support value chain business with robust technology and thus diversify its earnings base.”

Somefun said, “One of the areas that will define our strategic direction going forward is investment in alternative channels, leveraging further deployment of resources in technology.

“COVID-19 gave us a chance to test the integrity and scalability of our technology, the IT infrastructure, and the electronic banking channels, and provided us an opportunity to see where we needed to improve and strengthen, knowing that the future of sustainable banking business is in alternative channels.”

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Financial Sector Grew by 6.8 Percent in the Third Quarter

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The finance and insurance sector that comprises of both the financial institutions and insurance subsectors grew by 5.91 percent year-on-year in nominal terms in the third quarter (Q3).

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) latest report, the financial institutions’ subsector accounted for 88.89 percent of the sector in real terms in the quarter under review while the insurance subsector contributed the remaining 11.11 percent.

During the third quarter of 2020, the financial institutions’ subsector grew by 6.8 percent in Q3 2020 from 28.41 percent in Q2 2020 and 0.61 percent in Q3 2019 despite COVID-19 and a tough operating environment. The insurance subsector, however, contracted by -18.67 percent in Q3 2020 from -29.53 percent in Q2 2020 and 3.96 percent in Q3 2019.

On a quarterly basis, the sector declined by 24.76 percent.

In terms of contribution to GDP, the finance and insurance sector contributed 2.46 percent in Q3 2020, higher than the 2.40 percent it represented a year ago and lower than the contribution of 3.76 percent achieved in the previous quarter.

The economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter following a 6.10 percent decline posted in the second quarter. Nigeria is officially in the second economic recession in four years.

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