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Bad Debts: CBN Plans Tougher Bank Capital Rules

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  • Bad Debts: CBN Plans Tougher Bank Capital Rules

The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to introduce fresh capital rules in the second quarter of this year, threatening to heap pressure on banks already weighed down by bad loans.

Non-performing loans in the banking sector rose to N2.245tn in the third quarter of last year from N1.939tn in the second quarter, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The NBS data showed that the NPL ratio – a key metric for banks’ health – rose to 14.16 per cent in the third quarter from 12.45 per cent in the previous quarter, compared to a regulatory limit of five per cent.

Bloomberg quoted the CBN as saying in an emailed response to questions that the new requirements would be stricter in terms of what funding qualified as capital and would also require lenders to create “capital conservation” and “counter-cyclical” buffers.

According to the apex bank, the rule seeks to protect the nation’s banks “against shocks emanating locally and from abroad” by increasing the level of regulatory capital and the quality of the assets.

The central bank said it would “apply a leverage ratio to supplement existing capital ratios” for lenders as well as “additional loss-absorbency requirements for domestic-systemically important banks.”

“Country and cross-border risk guidelines are being developed for the assessment of risks arising from across border operations of Nigerian banks,” it added.

The regulator is aligning itself with a global accord known as Basel III three years after a contraction in Nigeria’s economy spurred authorities to delay the implementation of tougher capital rules. It also comes after policymakers in 2013 spurned some requirements drawn up by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Nigerian authorities migrated banks to a new accounting standard known as IFRS 9 last year to improve disclosure by forcing lenders to provide for existing losses as well as those that might occur in the future.

While the average capital-adequacy ratio for the industry rose to 12.1 per cent in June from 10.2 per cent at the end of 2017, some banks said the transition shaved as much as 200 basis points off their capital bases.

Lenders are struggling to contend with non-performing loans equal to 12.5 per cent of total credit. While these have improved from almost 15 per cent in 2017, many small- to medium-sized banks are battling to raise capital.

Worried about the declining health of Skye Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria sacked its board of directors in 2016 and constituted a new board, saying the moves had become unavoidable in view of the persistent failure of the bank to meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios.

In September this year, the apex bank revoked the operating licence of Skye Bank and created a bridge bank, Polaris, to take over its assets and liabilities.

Access Bank Plc is in the process of taking over Diamond Bank Plc.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN said at its meeting in September 2018 that it was concerned with “the rising level of non-performing loans in the banking system, traced mainly to the oil sector” and urged the CBN to closely monitor and address the situation.

In November, several members of the MPC again voiced concerns over the share of the nation’s oil and gas industry in the large volume of NPLs in banks.

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.

Banking Sector

FirstBank Boosts Cross Border Payment With FirstGlobal Transfer

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FirstBank Boosts Cross Border Payment With FirstGlobal Transfer

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the launch of First Global Transfer (FGT) to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The bank, in a statement, said: “First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative is specifically designed to ensure safe, timely and improved efficiency in the transfer of funds across the network of FirstBank subsidiaries in Africa.

“The FGT is not restricted to FirstBank and FBNBank customers alone but it is also open to every individual resident in the country the funds’ transfer is originating from.

“Intending users of the initiative are to visit any of the bank’s branches in Nigeria or subsidiaries in Africa, which are: FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, or FBNBank Senegal to enjoy the service.

“For example, with First Global Transfer, individuals and customers in Sierra-Leone can walk into any FBNBank branch to send money to FirstBank customers in Nigeria as well as FBNBank customers in Gambia, Ghana, DR Congo, Senegal or Guinea.”

Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank said, “today’s customer is influenced by the technological advancement shaping businesses across various industries and our First Global Transfer (FGT) initiative is one of those advancement created to impact every individual in our host community in Africa, whilst promoting the ease and swift transfer of money from one country to another for business or personal activities.”

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Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received

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Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received

Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter. Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, of Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country.

She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.

Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, but they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.

Only recently, Ecobank had a first-of-its-kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.

Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.

Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth.

“Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are, to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.

Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.

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Banking Sector

Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc

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The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.

His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.

The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.

FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).

The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.

For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.

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