The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has postponed its first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2020, earlier scheduled to hold next week Monday and Tuesday, to January 20 and 21, 2020.
The banking sector regulator disclosed this in a two-paragraph statement obtained last night, which was signed by its Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.
The Bank, however, did not give reasons for the decision.
The statement read: “The first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN for 2020, earlier slated to hold on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21, 2020, respectively, has now been rescheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020.
“The CBN regrets any inconvenience this change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public.”
The MPC had at its last meeting, decided by a unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent and to hold all other policy parameters constant for the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30 per cent, and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200-500 basis points around the MPR.
The CBN last week decided, in the interim, to retain the minimum loan-to-deposit (LDR) ratio for commercial and merchant banks at 65 per cent.
It had based its decision on what it described as remarkable increase in credit to the private sector.
“The CBN has noticed remarkable increase in the size of gross credit by deposit money banks (DMBs) to customers. “Accordingly, the CBN has decided to retain the minimum 65 per cent LDR in the interim. All DMBs are required to maintain this level and are further advised that average daily figures are to be applied to assess compliance going forward.
“The incentive which assigns a weight of 150 per cent in respect of lending to SMEs, retail, mortgage and consumer lending shall continue to apply, while failure to achieve the target shall continue to attract a levy of additional cash reserve requirement of 50 per cent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR on or before March 31, 2020.
“DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) are further encouraged to maintain strong risk management practices regarding their lending operations. The CBN shall continue to monitor compliance, review market developments and make further alterations in the LDR as it deems appropriate,” it had stated.