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Banks Write Off N1.9trn in Bad Debts – Report

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Commercial Banks Write Off N1.9trn in Bad Debts

Agusto & Co, a credit rating agency, said banks have written off about N1.9 trillion bad loans from their books in the last four years.

In the report titled, “2020 Banking Industry Report” and released on Sunday, the credit rating agency linked the banks’ actions to weak macroeconomic fundamentals and the introduction of the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9).

Agusto & Co, attributed the development to the global health pandemic that impacted the quality of assets and significantly exposed vulnerable sectors.

Still, the report noted that Deposit Money Banks and merchant banks continued to lend, even with the huge write-offs. It noted that the total credit to the economy expanded by N3.33 trillion to N18.90 trillion at the end of June 2020, up from N15.56 trillion achieved in May 2019. sector increased

Most of the loan goes to the productive sector of the economy. The report listed the manufacturing, consumer credit, general commerce, and information and communication and agriculture sectors as beneficiaries of improved credit facility.

The report said: “Our assessment of the industry’s financial condition is based on figures and information published in the approved annual reports of 19 commercial banks and five merchant banks as at 31 December 2019.

“These banks collectively accounted for an estimated 98 per cent of the industry’s total assets as at the same date and provide a good representation of the Industry.”

“In the last four years, following the 2015/2016 recession, the Nigerian banking industry has written off a minimum of N1.9 trillion of impaired loans from its loan portfolio. This volume of write-offs has been driven by the weak macroeconomic climate and the introduction of the IFRS 9 accounting standard in 2019. In the wake of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the Industry’s asset quality is further threatened given significant exposures to vulnerable sectors,” it said.

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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