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Banking Sector

Nigeria’s Central Bank Implements 10-Fold Increase in Minimum Capital Requirements for Lenders

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a tenfold increase in the minimum capital requirements for lenders.

The new regulations, unveiled by the Abuja-based institution, dictate that banks operating internationally must now possess a minimum capital of 500 billion naira ($359 million), up from the previous requirement of 50 billion naira.

Similarly, banks with operations within the country are mandated to have a minimum capital of 200 billion naira, a significant leap from the former 25 billion naira threshold.

This sweeping reform underscores the CBN’s determination to enhance the resilience and solvency of Nigeria’s financial institutions in the face of daunting economic challenges.

With a struggling naira, soaring inflation, and a weakened economy, the banking sector has come under increasing pressure to adapt and strengthen its defenses against volatility.

Governor Olayemi Cardoso, who assumed office in September, has been vocal about the imperative for banks to shore up their balance sheets.

The directive, issued as part of broader fiscal and monetary reforms, comes at a critical juncture as Nigeria seeks to revitalize its economy and stimulate growth.

While these measures are aimed at safeguarding the stability of the banking sector, they also reflect the CBN’s proactive approach in addressing vulnerabilities and ensuring the long-term viability of Nigeria’s financial landscape.

As banks prepare to comply with the new regulations within the stipulated 24-month timeline, the impact of these reforms on the economy and the banking industry’s future trajectory remains to be seen.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

FMBN Set for Commercialization to Improve Affordable Mortgage Financing

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FMBN

In a bid to bolster housing delivery efficiency and enhance affordable mortgage financing for Nigerians, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is gearing up for commercialization.

This move comes as part of the Nigerian government’s efforts to address the housing deficit and ensure adequate shelter for its citizens.

The Managing Director of FMBN, Shehu Osidi, made this announcement during a courtesy visit by the Federal Housing Delivery Reforms Task Team at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

Led by Mr. Adedeji Adesemoye and Brig. Gen. Tunde Reis, the task team discussed strategies to revitalize the housing sector, with a focus on FMBN’s pivotal role in providing affordable mortgage financing.

Osidi explained the bank’s commitment to supporting the government’s agenda of reforming and improving the housing sector, which is vital for sustainable development and enhancing citizens’ quality of life.

He underscored FMBN’s significant journey in the history of mortgage and housing finance in Nigeria and expressed optimism about the forthcoming commercialization process.

The commercialization plan involves repositioning and recapitalization efforts, following extensive engagements with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

Osidi stressed the importance of aligning the bank’s operations with its mandate of affordable mortgage financing, ensuring that it remains a reliable partner in the quest for accessible housing solutions.

As part of its strategic blueprint, FMBN has prioritized various initiatives to enhance service delivery and operational efficiency.

Of note is the ICT project aimed at upgrading core banking applications that is almost complete and promised to revolutionize customers’ experience.

Also, amendments to the FMBN and NFH Acts are underway in the National Assembly, addressing key areas to facilitate the bank’s transformation.

Despite challenges, including performance issues with estate development loans, FMBN is determined to overcome obstacles and achieve its objectives.

The commercialization plan aligns with broader efforts to deepen reforms and foster a remarkable turnaround in the housing sector.

By focusing on process automation, cost efficiency, credit quality enhancement, and strategic partnerships, FMBN aims to catalyze sustainable growth and address the nation’s housing needs effectively.

Chairman of the Federal Housing Reforms Task Team, Adedeji Adesomoye, reiterated the committee’s mandate to review the operations and governance structures of key housing institutions.

With ambitious targets set by the government, including the construction of 20,000 housing units in 2024 and 50,000 units in subsequent years, the commercialization of FMBN marks a pivotal step towards realizing Nigeria’s housing aspirations.

As the commercialization process unfolds, FMBN stands poised to play a central role in facilitating access to affordable mortgage financing, thereby contributing to the realization of homeownership dreams for millions of Nigerians.

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Banking Sector

Adesola Adeduntan’s Early Departure Prompts First Bank Holdings to Scrap Capital Raise Plans

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

First Bank Holdings Plc has decided to scrap its plans for capital raise following the early departure of its Managing Director, Adesola Adeduntan.

The decision to cancel the extraordinary general meeting (EGM), which was planned to discuss the proposed N300 billion capital raise, comes amidst Adeduntan’s resignation from his role, eight months before the scheduled expiration of his tenure.

The bank formally announced the cancellation of the EGM in a filing seen by Investors King on Friday.

The meeting, which was initially scheduled to be held virtually on April 30, 2024, aimed to seek authorization from the company’s members for the capital raise and address other related matters.

Adeduntan’s resignation, announced on the same day as the cancellation of the EGM, comes as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s tenure requirements affecting bank executives.

In his retirement letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Adeduntan expressed gratitude for the support received during his stewardship and highlighted the strides made by the bank during his tenure.

He stated, “During this period, the bank and its subsidiaries have undergone significant changes and broken new grounds. We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

Adeduntan further mentioned his decision to pursue other interests, prompting his early retirement effective April 20, 2024.

The cancellation of the capital raise plans shows the impact of Adeduntan’s departure on the bank’s strategic initiatives.

It reflects a shift in priorities for First Bank Holdings as it navigates leadership changes and seeks to chart a new course for its future direction.

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Banking Sector

First Bank MD, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Resigns to Pursue New Opportunities

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO - Investors King

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced his resignation from the bank after nine years of leadership.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Dr. Adeduntan expressed his decision to step down voluntarily, effective April 20, 2024, to pursue new opportunities.

Having served as the CEO since January 1, 2016, Dr. Adeduntan’s tenure has been marked by significant transformations within the institution. Under his leadership, First Bank and its subsidiaries have undergone substantial changes, positioning the bank as a formidable financial powerhouse in Africa.

In his resignation letter, Dr. Adeduntan highlighted the achievements made during his tenure, stating, “We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

He expressed gratitude to the board of directors of First Bank and FBN Holdings Plc for their support throughout his stewardship.

Dr. Adeduntan’s decision to resign comes as he approaches the end of his contract, which was set to expire on December 31, 2024.

He stated, “After which I would no longer be eligible for employment within the bank.” Despite his departure, he wished the institution continued success and progress in its evolution.

Throughout his career in banking and finance spanning over three decades, Dr. Adeduntan has been recognized for his contributions and received numerous awards.

He holds a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, and an MBA from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Dr. Adeduntan’s departure marks the end of an era for First Bank, as the institution prepares to transition into a new phase of its evolution.

His leadership has left a lasting legacy of transformation and growth, and his contributions will be remembered in the annals of the bank’s history.

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