Central Bank of Nigeria building
By Eromosele Abiodun
In accordance to the repeal of the universal banking guidelines, which allows banks to provide specific offerings, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Friday approved the plan by First Securities Discount House Limited (“FSDH”) to become a merchant bank.
This means that First Securities Discount House Limited will convert from operating as a discount house to operating as a merchant bank. Under the new guidelines, banks with merchant banking licence are expected to have a capital base of N15 billion.
One of the pioneers in the finance industry, FSDH, by this action, has become one of the first merchant banks to be awarded a licence in Nigeria since the repeal of universal banking by CBN in 2010.
Since March 1993 when FSDH began operations as the first discount house in Nigeria, the company has become a financial services group focussed on delivering expert financial services to its select clientele, thereby assisting them in achieving their financial goals.
The company in a statement said in order to retain the brand essence and strong brand equity, it had decided to adopt the name, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited.
“FSDH is excited by this development as it will enable the company to offer a broader range of services to its clients thereby deepening its client relationships and expanding its frontiers. Whilst the company does not underestimate the challenges that it will face, it is however confident that with its corporate culture of customer orientation, high performance, image building, collaboration and learning, all obstacles that may come its way can be surmounted.
“FSDH is particularly grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria, in respect of this approval and believes that this is a strong indication of the apex bank’s belief in the company’s capabilities. FSDH would like to seize this opportunity to welcome its stakeholders to the continued experience with FSDH Merchant Bank Limited,” the bank said.
The Managing Director, FSDH Group, Mr Rilwan Belo-Osagie, had in a chat with newsmen at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), said: “If the licence is granted, we intend to expand our operational scope and take advantage of greater opportunity to enhance our present competencies in securities trading, asset management, financial advisory services and investment banking.”