Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo or CBN Headoffice
Following the failure of the promoters of the yet-to-be resuscitated Savannah Bank Limited to open the bank for business two months after the June 30 deadline, some old depositors of the bank have challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Depositor Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to take a position on the fate of the bank.
Some of the depositors, speaking through their spokesperson, Mr. Phillip Ajao, last week said the onus was on the regulatory authorities to take a position on the fate of the bank in view of the uncertainty that surrounds the bank’s comeback bid.
They argued that unlike the former Societe Generale Bank Nigeria (SGBN) which has put its house in order by applying for a regional banking licence under a new corporate name, Heritage Bank, the management of Savannah Bank has not made any tangible move to reassure its depositors scattered all over the country.
There were reports that SGBN is to commence operations under a new name, Heritage Bank, following approval by the CBN.
CBN said the bank had met the financial requirements for returning to business.
However, the fate of Savannah Bank, which like SGBN got its licence back through the same court judgment in 2009, is uncertain as the management is yet to get credible investors and neither has the CBN acceded to requests for forbearance by the owners.
The CBN was said to be considering the option of extending the deadline for both banks to recapitalise which ended on June 30.
Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, who said banks’ recapitalisation was not under his jurisdiction, however, expressed the confidence that Savannah Bank would soon open for business.
Meanwhile, a CBN source was quoted as saying, “Usually we give them deadlines but when they run into problems, we are also cognisant of the harsh operating environment and all that, so when they come to us complaining that these are the problems they are having, sometimes we might extend those deadlines”.
Managing Director of the NDIC had told THISDAY recently that the banking sector reforms would not be complete without resolving the cases of the two banks, which had attracted negative comments, particularly following the seeming silence by the regulatory authorities on the fate of the two banks.