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Close Access Bank Accounts, #EndSARS Protesters Fight Tyranny, Abuse of Power With Account Closure

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Several Nigerian youths have started completing the Access Bank account closing form following the decision of the bank to restrict bank accounts of #EndSARS protesters without a court order.

In a series of tweets, the protesters accused the lender of abusing its power by implementing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive to freeze bank accounts of #EndSARS leaders without a court order.

According to them, they can no longer trust the bank with their vital details, especially with the Federal Government seizing passport and arresting protesters across the nation.

One of the youths, Oloye @oloye_ on Twitter, said they were not forcing people to close their bank accounts with the lender but they were certain that if the government decides to perform a raid on dissenting voices, Access Bank would not hesitate to give up their details.

A bank that doesn’t respect the rule of law“, he said.

Another person, Peter Ogunsona @pitharoy, said “It is very sad that a bank can liaise with GOVERNMENT — and instantly closed accounts of peaceful #EndSARS protesters without court order.

“It is obvious that ACCESS BANK can disclose our private information (home address, phones numbers) if the need arise.”

This was after the lender released a statement stating it acted in line with banking regulation.

In the statement titled “We are for you, always”, Access Bank said “we want to express our sympathy for the inconvenience that eight (*) of our customers are going through due to the restrictions on their accounts as mandated by a Federal court order. We are eager for this to be resolved as soon as possible.

However, the Nigerian youths refuted the bank’s reason and insisted that it did without a court order as it took the Central Bank of Nigeria almost two weeks after the restrictions to secure a valid court order.

Some claimed Stanbic IBTC, one of the leading lenders in Nigeria, resisted the central bank’s directive without a valid court order. A position applauded by the youths.

Others said Access Bank is working with the Federal Government to clampdown on dissent voices. A user, Salman, explained that since it is compulsory for a serving youth corps member to open an Access Bank account during the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), people should know they are working with the federal government.

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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