FBN Merchant Bank Boss Harps on Sound Corporate Governance

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By Goddy Egene

 The Managing Director/CEO of FBN Merchant Bank Limited, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe has said that sound corporate governance should be entrenched in the banking sector as the key to strengthening the industry.

The CEO of the FBN Holdings subsidiary stated this in a speech at the recent monthly meeting of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) in Lagos.

“Sound corporate governance goes beyond compliance and check-lists. It must become a way of life. We have a duty to ensure that it permeates the length and breadth of our banks,” he said.

 In his address titled: “The Place for Sound Corporate Governance in Today’s Banking Institutions,” Akinkugbe   said that the principles of corporate governance must form the basic framework for ensuring that stakeholders are able to enjoy long term benefits and value from banks. They also serve as strong pillars that ensure overall market confidence in institutions.

 According to him, the institution of corporate governance, backed by legislative, economic and financial reforms intended to promote transparency, accountability and the rule of law in the economic life of the country, are critical in assuring the banking public retains trust and confidence in such essential of bodies.

He said:  “This is not only ensures compliance with legal and ethical standards, but helps in building the strength of financial institutions within an economy.”

 He further emphasised that in recent years, corporate governance has attracted considerable interest, particularly following the global financial crisis and other corporate scandals, which has and led to the promulgation of rules and directives aimed at creating strong internal systems and controls that are comparable for financial institutions across the globe.

 “We are proud to be part of a larger Group, FBN Holdings Plc, which has a strong heritage of promoting corporate governance practices that has resulted in over 120 years of uninterrupted service and continued growth” he said, as he restated the commitment of FBN Merchant Bank towards maintaining a strong posture on sound practices.”

 Akinkugbe charged all chief compliance officers to engage, review and update policies and procedures to meet our evolving business needs, and ensure familiarisation amongst all stakeholders.

“This is critical to ensuring that our goal of running sustainable banking institutions is achieved,” he reiterated.

The monthly CCCOBIN meeting brings together top compliance officers in banks, industry top players, investors, financial institutions and private equity firms who meet to exchange ideas, and also showcase available opportunities for progress.

Meanwhile, the Head of Equity Brokerage at FBN Capital, Mr. Temktope Adeosun has   said that market and financial sector development is an important facilitator of economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking at the  recent  5th edition of the ‘Building African Financial Markets (BAFM) Capacity Building Seminar’ in Lagos, Adeosun said it should be recognised  as a legitimate component of a country’s development programme and should receive the support of government departments and agencies through allocations of their staff and financial resources.

According to him, supporting knowledge and capacity building initiatives which will empower and remove impediments that impact the ability of African exchanges to handle sizeable capital inflows is the collective responsibility of all players in the industry.

“As part of the largest financial services group in Africa, we believe that innovative solutions are required, especially in this era of ‘technology-on-the-go’. As technology can be a powerful tool for the congregation of diverse markets, the encouragement of this growth by market participants would be critical to success,” he said.

The seminar was focused on addressing liquidity concern in African capital   markets and the evolution of local regulation, which is starting to increasingly provide the opportunity for pension funds to diversify their expanding portfolios beyond equity investments in traditional sectors. Innovation, optimal market structure and technology were major highlights identified to address low liquidity in African capital   markets.