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Magu Probe: FCMB Denies Paying Money into Pastor’s Account

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No Money Was Paid Into Pastor’s Account, FCMB Tells Nigerians

Following a widely publicised report that the Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc claimed that he mistakenly transferred N573 million to an account of Magu’s pastor, the lender has come out to refute the report.

In a statement released by the FCMB Group on Wednesday, the bank said the report was false as there was no transfer of such amount into the said account.

This, the bank said was clarified during the presidential hearing in Abuja by the bank’s Managing Director.

According to the bank, the error had occurred only on file during a system upgrade in 2016. This upgrade, the bank claimed led to multiple unrelated entries into a single account under the affected customer’s name on one of the lender’s reports.

The bank’s statement reads “Our attention has been drawn to widely circulating stories incorrectly stating that our Managing Director, during a recent presidential hearing in Abuja, testified that the bank mistakenly transferred N573m to the account of a church and the said error was not discovered for 4 years. We feel it is in the public interest to state emphatically that there was no transfer of N573m into this account, mistakenly or otherwise.

“To provide further clarity, during a maintenance upgrade of our systems in 2016, a defective file led to the aggregation of multiple unrelated entries into a single balance under the affected customer’s name in one of our reports.

“This aggregation occurred only in the weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit. It had no effect on any customer account balance or statements and therefore was not immediately identified.

“Our Managing Director clarified to the Presidential panel that the system generated report was incorrect and that there was no mistaken transfer of N573 million. He also submitted comprehensive documentary evidence to this effect.

“We appreciate that comments may have been misconstrued and therefore believe it is important to emphatically clarify the position that there was no mistaken transfer whatsoever, as stated above.

“FCMB continues to fully cooperate with the panel, and has been entirely transparent in its reporting. We remain committed to ethical and professional conduct at all times.”

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

Financial Sector Grew by 6.8 Percent in the Third Quarter

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Central Bank

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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Finance

FBN Holdings Reports N21.9 Billion Profit in Q3 2020

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FBN Holdings

FBN Holdings Plc reported net interest income of N61.463 billion in the third quarter of 2020, slightly down from N61.836 billion posted in the same quarter of 2019.

In the unaudited financial statement filed through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, FBN Holdings Net Interest income after impairment charge for losses also declined to N45.446 billion during the period under review, down from N55.483 billion filed in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

Fee and commission income grew from N26.988 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to N31.810 billion in the same quarter of 2020.

The surged in fee and commission bolstered operating profit to N21.738 billion, up from N18.223 billion filed in 2019.

Profit before tax stood at N21.910 billion in 2020 from N18.223 billion recorded in 2019. While profit after tax rose to N18.723 billion from N18.223 billion filed in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

The strong third quarter performance was not surprising given what the Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. UK Eke, told shareholders in the last AGM.

He said “in line with the commitment to supporting our customers and providing leadership in the financial services industry, we will continue to provide unfettered access to financial services to our customers and address their needs. We are working in line with the guidance of the regulators including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in providing access to funding as we seek to kick-start the economy and drive growth.”

He assured stakeholders that overall, “the impact on our business has been broadly in line with our expectations, and our resilience, breadth of offerings, and investment in alternative channels have ensured that the Group is able to cushion the effect and thrive.”

“More fundamentally, the Group has begun to reap the dividend of its investment in technology that has enhanced the earning capacity of the business and expanded our market reach,” Eke said.

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Zenith Bank Sets a New Record, Posts N508.979 Billion Gross Earnings in Nine months

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Zenith Bank continues its impressive run in the first nine months of the year despite COVID-19 and other business challenges that limited businesses operating in Nigeria.

The leading financial institution reported N508.975 billion gross earnings in the nine months ended September 30, 2020. This was 4 percent higher than the N491.268 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

The bank disclosed in the unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Zenith Bank grew interest and similar income declined by 1 percent to N318.820 billion in 2020, slightly down from N321.938 billion.

Net interest income rose by 5 percent from N214.627 billion filed in 2019 to N225.179 billion in 2020.

Operating expenses expanded by 11 percent to N196.279 billion during the period under review, up from N176.941 billion filed in 2019.

Profit before tax grew by 1 percent from N176.183 billion in 2019 to N177.283 billion in 2020, while profit after tax declined by 6 percent to N159.315 billion, down from N150.723 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.

Key Financial Highlights

In the press release that accompanied the unaudited financial statements, Zenith Bank said “Total deposits closed at ₦5.2 trillion at the end of Q3 2020 up from ₦4.3 trillion in December 2019, dominated by low-cost deposits. Retail deposits continued to grow strongly to ₦1.7 trillion at the end of Q3 2020 up from ₦1.1 trillion as at December 2019, underpinned by the continuous expansion and improvement of the Group’s digital platforms.

In terms of asset quality, the NPL ratio improved to 4.80% (FYE 2019: 4.95%), despite growing loans and advances by 17 % from ₦2.5 trillion as at December 2019 to ₦2.9 trillion at the end of Q3 2020, affirming the Group’s prudent credit risk management.

Our liquidity and capital adequacy ratios (CAR), at 67.4% (Bank: 52.5%) and 21.5% respectively at the end of Q3 2020, remain above regulatory thresholds of 30.0% and 15.0% respectively. This gives headroom for providing support to businesses while creating risk assets opportunities in line with our credit risk management framework.

Going into the final quarter of the year, we will remain resilient as we keep adapting to the headwinds in the operating environment and continue to deliver enhanced customers experience and stakeholders value.

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