No Nigerian Bank is in Distress, CBN Insists

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  •  Skye Bank board assures investors of increased returns

Obinna Chima

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated that no bank in the country is in distress, just as it reassured bank customers that their deposits are safe.

The acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, in a statement last night, said the attention of the central bank was drawn to malicious rumours and unfounded speculations that some banks in the country might have gone or be going into distress.

To this end, the CBN restated: “In the strongest terms that these rumours and speculations are untrue and do not reflect the actual health of the individual banks and, indeed, the entire banking industry.”

Providing more clarification on its intervention at Skye Bank on Monday, the banking sector regulator explained that the infusion of a new board and management at Skye Bank was a proactive regulatory action meant to ensure that the bank does not continue to fail in its relevant prudential ratios.

It, however, pointed out that neither Skye Bank nor any other bank in the industry is in distress.

“Therefore, the CBN would like to request the public to ignore speculations or rumours to the contrary as they could only be the handiwork of mischief makers who do not mean well for the Nigerian banking system and its economy. As the regulator of the industry, the CBN hereby reassures the banking and general public that their deposits remain safe in any Nigerian bank. There is therefore no need for panic withdrawals from any bank.

“Going by both the CBN’s Examination Reports as well as analysis from market watchers, International Credit Rating Agencies, and Development Finance Institutions, the Nigerian banking industry remains strong in spite of the global economic challenges emanating from the collapse of global commodity prices. We therefore urge the banking public to remain calm and go about their normal businesses without panic. It is important that we do not create problems when none exists,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the board of Skye Bank has assured shareholders of the bank that the new board and management team at the bank will work to increase investors’ returns on their investment.

According to a statement issued by the bank last night, the board assured them that the bank would uphold sound banking practices as a way of delivering value to both the customers and shareholders as they form the core support base of the bank.

In addition, the bank promised to adopt a policy of close engagement with the shareholders and other stakeholders as a path to growth and development as well as ensure that the fortunes of the bank are improved.

The new Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, affirmed the CBN statement that Skye Bank remains healthy and strong.
Abiru, who said this while taking over from his predecessor, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, affirmed that Skye Bank’s fundamentals remain strong and also assured customers and other stakeholders of the safety of their funds and investments.

The new Skye Bank boss said his team would leverage on the bank’s its reputable information technology platform to make the bank not just a frontline retail and commercial bank, but an industry leader.

The CBN had last Monday approved the reconstitution of the board of Skye Bank Plc, with the apex bank appointing Mr. M.K. Ahmad and Mr. Tokunbo Abiru as the new Chairman and Managing Director of the bank respectively. Other members of the reconstituted Board are Bayo Sanni, Idris Yakubu, Markie Idowu and Abimbola Izu, all of whom were serving in the Executive Director capacity of the bank prior to now.