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Banking Sector

CBN Commends Banks For Good Performance in 2022

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the banking system has continued to perform well with major financial soundness indicators as it compared favourably with the prudential thresholds as of the end of October 2022.

The Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed this in statements by its Monetary Policy Committee on monetary policies.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that there were significant improvement in the banking sector which was achieved through the substantial overshoot of domestic claims above programmed benchmark and importantly reflected the sustained growth of banking system credits to the private sector, consistent with the CBN policy to finance high-impact sectors.

“Despite rising private sector credits and elevated uncertainties, the banking system remained resilient and stable as NPL ratio (4.81 per cent), liquidity ratio (40.14 per cent) and CAR (13.39 per cent), outperformed their prudential limits. In order to insulate our economy from adverse external developments, it remains imperative to fortify our economic base by de-risking the productive sector and diversifying completely.

“This is especially as frozen oil receipt impedes the FX market, shrinking external reserves from $37.39bn in September to $36.87bn in October, and abetting exchange rate pressures.”

Giving their thought on the performance of the banking sector, Adeola Adenikinju, member of the MPC, lauded the banks for having various Financial Soundness Indicators that showed that the banking systems remained safe, sound, and resilient.

“All measures of industry aggregates: assets, deposits and credit rose year on year. Total assets of the banking industry grew by N12.37tn between end-October 2021 and 2022.

“Similarly, industry credit increased by N5.32tn over the same period. In addition, total industry deposits rose by N6.92tn between end-October 2021 and 2022. In October 2022, a total of 125,305 new credits valued at N767.06bn were granted to various customers. There was marginal increase in lending rates in the industry in response to recent measures by the CBN.”

Another member of the committee, Robert Asogwa, said the domestic financial sector was still resilient as of October, except for observed volatilities in the stock market while Folashodun Shonubi, a memebr of the committee noted that the banking system remained strong so far in 2022, even as it continued to wrestle with the effects of a challenging macroeconomic environment on businesses.

“Of note is the sustained growth in total industry deposits, credits, and assets, reflecting positive impact of various measures by the bank. Industry capital adequacy, though lower at 13.4 per cent, was above the 10.0 per cent prudential minimum.

“Significant rise in domestic claims on private sector and the government has however pushed annualised growth of major monetary aggregate slightly above the benchmark for fiscal 2022, highlighting monetary aspect of the drivers of inflationary pressure.”

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Banking Sector

CBN Governor Vows to Tackle High Inflation, Signals Prolonged High Interest Rates

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Central Bank of Nigeria - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, has pledged to employ decisive measures, including maintaining high interest rates for as long as necessary.

This announcement comes amidst growing concerns over the country’s soaring inflation rates, which have posed significant economic challenges in recent times.

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times, Cardoso emphasized the unwavering commitment of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to take whatever steps are essential to rein in inflation.

He underscored the urgency of the situation, stating that there is “every indication” that the MPC is prepared to implement stringent measures to curb the upward trajectory of inflation.

“They will continue to do what has to be done to ensure that inflation comes down,” Cardoso affirmed, highlighting the determination of the CBN to confront the inflationary pressures gripping the economy.

The CBN’s proactive stance on inflation was evident from the outset of the year, with the MPC taking bold steps to tighten monetary policy.

The committee notably raised the benchmark lending rate by 400 basis points during its February meeting, further increasing it to 24.75% in March.

Looking ahead, the next MPC meeting, scheduled for May 20-21, will likely serve as a platform for further deliberations on monetary policy adjustments in response to evolving economic conditions.

Financial analysts have projected continued tightening measures by the MPC in light of stubbornly high inflation rates. Meristem Securities, for instance, anticipates a further uptick in headline inflation for April, underscoring the persistent inflationary pressures facing the economy.

Despite the necessity of maintaining high interest rates to address inflationary concerns, Cardoso acknowledged the potential drawbacks of such measures.

He expressed hope that the prolonged high rates would not dampen investment and production activities in the economy, recognizing the need for a delicate balance in monetary policy decisions.

“Hiking interest rates obviously has had a dampening effect on the foreign exchange market, so that has begun to moderate,” Cardoso remarked, highlighting the multifaceted impacts of monetary policy adjustments.

Addressing recent fluctuations in the value of the naira, Cardoso reassured investors of the central bank’s commitment to market stability.

He emphasized the importance of returning to orthodox monetary policies, signaling a departure from previous unconventional approaches to monetary management.

As the CBN governor charts a course towards stabilizing the economy and combating inflation, his steadfast resolve underscores the gravity of the challenges facing Nigeria’s monetary authorities.

In the face of daunting inflationary pressures, the commitment to decisive action offers a glimmer of hope for achieving stability and sustainable economic growth in the country.

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Banking Sector

NDIC Managing Director Reveals: Only 25% of Customers’ Deposits Insured

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The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Bello Hassan, has revealed that a mere 25% of customers’ deposits are insured by the corporation.

This revelation has sparked concerns about the vulnerability of depositors’ funds and raised questions about the adequacy of regulatory safeguards in Nigeria’s banking sector.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2024 Sensitisation Seminar for justices of the court of appeal in Lagos, themed ‘Building Strong Depositors Confidence in Banks and Other Financial Institutions through Adjudication,’ Hassan shed light on the limited coverage of deposit insurance for bank customers.

Hassan addressed recent concerns surrounding the hike in deposit insurance coverage and emphasized the need for periodic reviews to ensure adequacy and credibility.

He explained that the decision to increase deposit insurance limits was based on various factors, including the average deposit size, inflation impact, GDP per capita, and exchange rate fluctuations.

Despite the coverage extending to approximately 98% of depositors, Hassan underscored the critical gap between the number of depositors covered and the value of deposits insured.

He stressed that while nearly all depositors are accounted for, only a quarter of the total value of deposits is protected, leaving a significant portion of funds vulnerable to risk.

“The coverage is just 25% of the total value of the deposits,” Hassan affirmed, highlighting the disparity between the number of depositors covered and the actual value of deposits within the banking system.

Moreover, Hassan addressed concerns about moral hazard, emphasizing that the presence of uninsured deposits would incentivize banks to exercise market discipline and mitigate risks associated with reckless behavior.

“The quantum of deposits not covered will enable banks to exercise market discipline and eliminate the issue of moral hazards,” Hassan stated, suggesting that the lack of full coverage serves as a safeguard against irresponsible banking practices.

However, Hassan’s revelations have prompted calls for greater regulatory oversight and transparency within Nigeria’s financial institutions. Critics argue that the current level of deposit insurance falls short of providing adequate protection for depositors, especially in the event of bank failures or financial crises.

The disclosure comes amid ongoing efforts by regulatory authorities to bolster depositor confidence and strengthen the resilience of the banking sector. With concerns mounting over the stability of Nigeria’s financial system, stakeholders are urging for proactive measures to address vulnerabilities and enhance consumer protection.

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Banking Sector

Wema Bank Celebrates 79th Anniversary with Launch of CoopHub for Cooperative Societies

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Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, has introduced a digital solution tailored for cooperative societies.

The innovative platform, named CoopHub, was developed to drive digital transformation and empower communities across Nigeria.

The unveiling of CoopHub took center stage at the bank’s anniversary celebration, held on Friday amidst much anticipation and excitement.

The launch of this pioneering platform underscores Wema Bank’s dedication to innovation and customer-centricity, aiming to revolutionize the operations of cooperative societies and address longstanding challenges within the sector.

At the heart of CoopHub lies a strategic vision to redefine the way cooperative societies function by providing tailored solutions that bridge the gaps inherent in traditional cooperative frameworks.

Designed to streamline operations, enhance communication, and promote financial inclusivity, CoopHub aims to empower cooperative societies and their members for optimal productivity and growth.

Moruf Oseni, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank, emphasized the strategic importance of CoopHub in addressing the pain points faced by cooperative societies.

He highlighted challenges such as manual recordkeeping, limited access to loans, poor communication, insecurity, and other restrictions that CoopHub seeks to overcome. Oseni reaffirmed Wema Bank’s commitment to innovation and customer-centricity, stating that CoopHub represents a significant step forward in empowering communities across Nigeria.

Solomon Ayodele, Wema Bank’s Head of Innovation, elaborated on the transformative features of CoopHub, emphasizing its role in ushering cooperative societies into a new era of efficiency and transparency.

Ayodele highlighted features such as a digitized database for recordkeeping, user management capabilities for leaders, transparent overviews of contributions, seamless communication frameworks, and robust security measures, including a three-factor authentication system for withdrawals.

Ayodele urged cooperative societies to embrace CoopHub and experience the future of cooperative operations firsthand.

He emphasized the platform’s potential to eliminate conflicts, mistrust, and inefficiencies, offering a seamless and secure ecosystem for cooperative members to thrive.

The launch of CoopHub comes at a time when cooperative societies play a vital role in Nigeria’s socio-economic landscape.

According to the National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria, over 30 million Nigerians belong to cooperative societies, highlighting the significant impact of these entities on community development and financial inclusion.

As Wema Bank embarks on its 79th year of operation, the introduction of CoopHub underscores the institution’s commitment to driving positive change and fostering sustainable growth within Nigeria’s cooperative sector.

With its innovative features and transformative capabilities, CoopHub promises to empower cooperative societies, enhance financial inclusivity, and catalyze socio-economic development across Nigeria.

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