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FIRSTBANK EXPOSURE TO HERITAGE BANK HAS BEEN SETTLED

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FIRSTBANK EXPOSURE TO HERITAGE BANK HAS BEEN SETTLED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global News Reports That The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) yesterday announced the commencement of the liquidation of the defunct Heritage Bank Plc, following the revocation of its operating licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

 

 

 

 

FIRSTBANK EXPOSURE TO HERITAGE BANK HAS BEEN SETTLED

 

 

 

 

 

The corporation said the move was in accordance with Section 55 sub-section 1 and 2 of the NDIC Act 2023, adding that depositors of the defunct bank that have alternate accounts within the industry would be paid up to the insured amount of N5 million per depositor using their Bank Verification Number (BVN) to locate their alternate account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a statement, NDIC Director, Communication and Public Affairs, Bashir Nuhu, said that the liquidation process was with immediate verification and payment of insured deposits to the bank depositors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said depositors with funds more than N5 million would be paid liquidation dividend upon realisation of the bank’s assets and recovery of debts owed to Heritage Bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The revocation is coming on the revelation that FirstBank’s total exposure to Heritage bank amounted to about N500 billion. The CBN under former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, got FirstBank to support Heritage Bank at the level of forbearance, clearing of their checks and instruments. “This led to their massive indebtedness to FirstBank to the tune of N500 billion,” a source with knowledge of the matter revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THISDAY reliably learned last night that before the announcement of the revocation of Heritage Bank’s licence was made, CBN paid off First Bank’s exposure to Heritage. Since its intervention was at the behest of the apex bank under Emefiele.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NDIC further advised all depositors of the defunct bank without alternate bank account in the industry to visit the nearest branch of the bank with proof of account ownership, verifiable means of identification such as driver’s licence, permanent voter’s card, national identity card, together with their alternate account and BVN for the verification of their deposits and subsequent payment of insured sums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuhu, also the bank’s creditors to visit the nearest branch of the bank to file their claims or via the online platform, adding that the process of payment of creditors would commence immediately after all depositors have been paid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also advised debtors that are yet to complete the repayment of loans to contact the corporation’s Asset Management Department (AMD) or visit the NDIC website for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NDIC however, assured the entire banking public of its commitment to the continued safety of depositors’ funds in all licensed banks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It therefore, urged depositors to continue their banking businesses without fear as banks whose licenses have not been revoked remain safe and sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CBN had earlier announced the revocation of the operating licence of the failed bank with immediate effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a statement issued by CBN acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs.Hakama Sidi Ali, the apex bank said the move was in accordance with its mandate to promote a sound financial system in Nigeria and in exercise of its powers under Section 12 (1) of the Banks and Other Financial Act (BOFIA) 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The central bank pointed out that the Board and management of the bank had not been able to improve the bank’s financial performance, a situation which constitutes a threat to financial stability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This followed a period during which the CBN engaged with the bank and prescribed various supervisory steps intended to stem the decline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidi Ali said, “Regrettably, the bank has continued to suffer and has no reasonable prospects of recovery, thereby making the revocation of the license the next necessary step.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifically, the CBN said the action became necessary due to the bank’s breach of Section 12 (1) of BOFIA, 2020. The CBN acting director further explained that the central bank took the action to strengthen public confidence in the banking system and ensure that the soundness of the financial system was not impaired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said the NDIC had also been appointed as the liquidator of the distressed bank in accordance with Section 12 (2) of BOFIA, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She explained, “We wish to assure the public that the Nigerian financial system remains on a solid footing. “The action we are taking today reflects our continued commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and soundness of our financial system.” However, reacting to the licence revocation by the CBN, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Proshare Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, argued that at least four other banks “are in situations requiring swift CBN intervention; therefore, the #CBN and the #NDIC will have to shift regulatory/intervention gear sticks to ensure that the banking system works with minimal disruption.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He pointed out that the revocation of Heritage Bank’s licence did not come as a surprise. “For a bank under forbearance, this was a long time coming (as we recall the number of reports on same and challenges with similar entities under the same program), given the numerous follow-ups done by Proshare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Neither the CBN nor NDIC took to Proshare’s recommendations; with the wheels now turning full circle with the CBN’s recent decision to liquidate Heritage Bank, the crackling of regulatory noise has been tuned up. Therefore, we remain unsurprised and ask why it took so long for the regulators (CBN and NDIC) to see the merit in the recommendations proffered,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to him, almost five years after, and sequel to the multiple interventions by the CBN, including its forbearance position, nothing changed. “Eventually, it would appear that the CBN took the first option we proposed. The action today compels the need to interrogate the institutional decision-making capacity and capability in the face of the obvious financial system and organisation shortcomings,” Awoyemi said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, Head, Financial Institutions Ratings at Agusto & Co, Mr. Ayokunle Olubunmi said, “Heritage Bank has been struggling for a while now. The bank’s capital has been persistently below the CBN minimum threshold. “I believe that the revocation is meant to send a message to the banks that the CBN will not hesitate to revoke the licence of any bank in breach of the CBN regulations. It could also sanitise the banking industry to an extent.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He noted that the revocation could improve confidence in the financial system since the banks know that their licences could be withdrawn and would have to comply with the various regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olubunmi, further stressed that the recent increase in the NDIC coverage would provide some comfort to depositors. Also, a banker who pleaded anonymity said the distressed bank had not reported the financials in five years, adding that he perceived two other banks have negative capital and bad financials which may go the route of license revocation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The source said, “Heritage Bank had not produced their financials for years and over the years there had been various investors that had tried to acquire the bank but once they did their due diligence they backed out. Things have been so bad that they don’t have senior staff for certain pertinent positions such as Chief Risk Officer and Treasurer. So, things have been bad in the bank for a while.”

 

 

 

 

Culled from ThisDay

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FIRSTBANK EMERGES AS THE BEST PRIVATE BANK IN NIGERIA AND THE BEST PRIVATE BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA AT GLOBAL FINANCE AWARDS

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FIRSTBANK EMERGES AS THE BEST PRIVATE BANK IN NIGERIA AND THE BEST PRIVATE BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA AT GLOBAL FINANCE AWARDS

FIRSTBANK EMERGES AS THE BEST PRIVATE BANK IN NIGERIA AND THE BEST PRIVATE BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA AT GLOBAL FINANCE AWARDS

 

 

 

 

Global News Reports That First Bank of Nigeria Limited, West Africa’s premier financial institution
and leading financial inclusion services provider announced its recognition as the Best Private
Bank in Nigeria and Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investment in Africa at the Global
Finance’s ninth annual World’s Best Private Banks Awards for 2024 was held at the Harvard Club of
New York on March 21, 2024.

 

 

FIRSTBANK EMERGES AS THE BEST PRIVATE BANK IN NIGERIA AND THE BEST PRIVATE BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA AT GLOBAL FINANCE AWARDS

 

 

 

Dulce Chicon, Vice President of Global Finance in the Americas; Idowu Thompson, Group Executive, Private Banking and Wealth Management, FirstBank; and Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications Department, FirstBank during a networking session at the dinner and award ceremony of the Global Finance ninth annual World’s Best Private Banks Awards for 2024 held recently in New York, USA.

 

 

 

 

According to Global Finance, its Private Bank Awards honor banks that best serve the
specialized needs of high-net-worth individuals as they seek to enhance, preserve, and pass on
their wealth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstBank’s Private Banking business model was revamped in January 2023 on the back of a
stellar performance in 2022, to consolidate its position and maintain its pride of place as the
leading Private Bank in Nigeria with distinct product offerings covering investment advisory,
wealth management, asset management, and lifestyle solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank has remained consistent in reinventing itself, enabling success through the years of
its existence for the last 130 years, responding to the changes in the private wealth space and
the opportunities presented by certain factors like borderless technology renewed interest in
mineral wealth, migration opportunities, and concerns for wealth preservation amongst many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiving the awards, Idowu Thompson, the Group Executive, Private Banking and Wealth
Management, FirstBank said; We are greatly honored to be recipients of the awards Best Private Bank in Nigeria and Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investment in Africa, both
testaments to our enduring commitment to continuously creating value by strengthening
financial awareness and driving inclusiveness in our customers’ journeys from wealth creation,
growth, preservation, and its orderly transfer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are delighted with the impact we have made in putting our customers first as this has
played a very vital role in enabling their successes and contributing to national development.
These awards are dedicated to our esteemed customers. We reaffirm our continued dedication
to continuing to improve and delivering excellence in banking”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Giarraputo, Founder and Editorial Director of Global Finance said: “Private banking is an
art as well as a science in which knowledge of economic and financial trends are paired with a
deep understanding of client needs. Global Finance’s Private Bank Awards highlight institutions
that deliver both.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amongst other awards, FirstBank recently added to its awards kitty are Best Private Bank in
Nigeria 2024 by Global Banking and Finance; Best CSR Bank in Nigeria 2024 by Global
Banking and Finance; Most Innovative Digital Bank, 2024- Nigeria by Digital Banker Africa; the
Most Innovative Banking Brand in Nigeria 2023 by Global Brands Awards; Financial Institution
of the Year 2023 by Afrexim Bank; and Best Corporate Bank in Nigeria 2023 by Euromoney
Awards for Excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amidst a rapidly evolving global landscape, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has demonstrated
exceptional leadership in integrating sustainable practices into its banking operations. Through
strategic investments, innovative solutions, and a steadfast dedication to environmental, social,
and governance (ESG) principles, FirstBank has remained a trailblazer in sustainable finance
for its customers, irrespective of where they may be across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About FirstBank

 

 

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited “FirstBank”, established in 1894, is the premier bank in West
Africa, one of the leading financial inclusion service providers in Africa, and a digital banking
giant.

 

 

 

 

FirstBank’s international footprints cut across three continents- Africa, Europe and Asia, with
FirstBank UK Limited in London and Paris; FirstBank in The Democratic Republic of Congo, The
Gambia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone; FBNBank in Ghana and Senegal; and a FirstBank
Representative Office in Beijing, China. All the subsidiary banks are fully registered by their
respective Central Banks to provide full banking services.

 

 

 

Besides providing domestic banking services, the subsidiaries also engage in international
cross-border transactions with FirstBank’s Non-Nigerian Subsidiaries and the representative
offices in Paris and China facilitate trade flows from Asia and Europe into Nigeria and other
African countries.

 

 

 

 

For 130 years, FirstBank has built an outstanding reputation for solid relationships, good
corporate governance, and a strong liquidity position, and has been at the forefront of promoting
digital payment in the country with over 13 million cards issued to customers (the first bank to
achieve such a milestone in Nigeria). FirstBank has continued to make significant investments
in technology, innovation, and transformation, and its cashless transaction drive has been
steadily accentuated with almost 23 million active FirstBank customers signed up on digital
channels including the USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894#
Banking code.

 

 

 

 

 

With over 42 million customer accounts (including digital wallets) spread across Nigeria, UK and
sub-Saharan Africa, the Bank provides a comprehensive range of retail and wholesale financial
services through more than 800 business offices and over 233,500 agent locations spread
across 772 out of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
In addition to banking solutions and services, FirstBank provides pension fund custody services
in Nigeria through First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited and nominee and associated
services through First Nominees Nigeria Limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstBank’s commitment to Diversity is shown in its policies, partnerships, and initiatives such as
its employees’ ratio of female to male (about 39%:61%; and 32% women in management) as
well as the FirstBank Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and
increase the participation of women at all levels within the organization. In addition, the Bank’s membership of the UN Women is an affirmation of a deliberate policy that is consistent with the UN
Women’s Women Empowerment’s Principles (WEPs) – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and
Nondiscrimination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For six consecutive years (2011 – 2016), FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in
Nigeria” by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group and
“Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” eight times in a row, 2011 – 2018, by the Asian Banker
International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notably, in 2022, the Bank took a long stride on its growth trajectory with the Bank’s Viability
and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings upgraded to ' B' from ' B-' (with Outlooks Stable) by Fitch, a leading global rating agency. This is an indication of the Bank’s strong internal capital
generation and the corresponding recession of its risks to capitalization. Fitch also upgraded the
Bank’s National Long-Term Ratings to ' A (nga)' from ' BBB (nga)' to reflect its improved creditworthiness relative to that of other issuers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Top 100 African
Bank rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine revealed FirstBank’s ranking as
number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance, Profitability, Efficiency, and Return on
Risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other laudable feats in 2022 include FirstBank’s international recognition on major indices by
Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service
providers where FirstBank was crowned:

  1. Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
    2. Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
    3. Highly Regarded: in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions,
    4. Notable: in SME Banking.

 

Also, in 2022 International Finance Magazine named the Bank “Most Innovative Banking
Product in Nigeria” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria”. FirstBank was also awarded “Best
Corporate Banking Western Africa, 2022” and “Best CSR Bank Western Africa, 2022’’ by
Global Banking and Finance Magazine. Other notable awards in FirstBank coffers include:
“Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance magazine – fifteen times in a row; “Best Private Bank
in Nigeria-2021” awarded by Global Finance magazine; “Best Internet Banking Nigeria” and
‘’Best CSR Bank Africa’’ by International Business Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2023, FirstBank received notable awards including “Best Private Bank for Sustainable
Investing in Africa 2023” by Global Finance Awards; “Best Sustainable Bank in Nigeria 2023” by
International Investors Awards; “Best Bespoke Banking Services in Nigeria 2023” by
International Investors Awards; “Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider in Nigeria 2023” by
Digital Banker Africa; and “African Bank of the Year” by African Leadership Magazine; ’’Best
Corporate Bank in Nigeria 2023’’ by Euromoney Awards and ‘’Most Innovative Banking Brand
– Nigeria 2023’’ by Global Brands Award.

 

 

 

 

Other laudable feats in 2023 include FirstBank’s international recognition on major indices by
Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service
providers where FirstBank was crowned:

 

 

Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate Banking,
Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) in Digital Solutions,
Highly Regarded: Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
Highly Regarded: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
Notable: in SME Banking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Significantly, FirstBank’s Global Credit Rating was A+ with a positive outlook while ratings by
Fitch and Standard & Poor’s were A (nga) and ngBBB+ respectively both with Stable outlooks
as of September 2023. FirstBank maintained the same level of international credit ratings with
the sovereign; a milestone that was achieved in 2022 for the first time since 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our vision is ‘To be Africa’s Bank of first choice’ and our mission is ‘To remain true to our name
by providing the best financial services possible. This commitment is anchored on our core
values of EPIC – Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, Innovation, and Customer-Centricity. Our
strategic ambition is ‘To deliver accelerated growth in profitability through customer-led
innovation and disciplined execution and our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate
“gold standard” of value and excellence to position You First in every respect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folake Ani-Mumuney
Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications
First Bank of Nigeria Limited

 

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Why Court Sentenced Fidelity Bank MD, Secretary to Six Weeks imprisonment

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Why Court Sentenced Fidelity Bank MD, Secretary to Six Weeks imprisonment

Why Court Sentenced Fidelity Bank MD, Secretary to Six Weeks imprisonment

 

FIDELITY BANK-Interestingly, a chief magistrate’s court in Ogba, Lagos, has sentenced Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, to six weeks in prison.

 

 

Why Court Sentenced Fidelity Bank MD, Secretary to Six Weeks imprisonment

 

 

The court presided over by Magistrate Lateef Owolabi, extended the same sentence to Ezinwa Unuigboje, the fidelity bank’s secretary, after finding both guilty of disobeying a garnishee order of court restraining the bank from allowing a judgment debtor access to his account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learned that on December 6, 2022, Owolabi had issued the garnishee order for 17 banks not to grant Enabulele Ozaze, a judgment debtor, access to his bank accounts until he paid a judgment debt of N2.8 million.

 

Ozaze was on October 13, 2022, ordered to refund one Jibrin Ahmed the sum of N2.8 million. This sum was money Ahmed had earlier paid to Ozaze for the purchase of a Toyota Corolla car.

Two months after Ozaze failed to refund, Owolabi ordered 16 banks not to allow him to transact on any account.

On January 25, 2023, Ahmed told the court, via an affidavit, that Fidelity Bank had flouted the garnishee order.

He showed the court how Ozaze had been withdrawing funds from his account. He claimed that Ozaze had N3,165,759.05k in his account with Fidelity Bank as of January 12, 2023, when the garnishee order was served.

 

Three days after the order was served, Ozaze withdrew N725,547.80k from the account. The following day, he transferred another N251,305.90 out of the bank.

On January 17, Obianuju Nwosu, Fidelity Bank’s legal officer, confirmed they received the garnishee order on December 22, 2022, and apologised to the court for the transactions on the account.

On January 18, the court ordered that the managing director and the bank’s secretary to appear before it to explain why they should not be sentenced to prison.

Both were absent on Monday. Owolabi ordered their immediate remand and instructed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to effect their arrest.

More details later…

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Wema Bank records impressive financial performance in 2022 Half-Year Reports

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Wema Bank records impressive financial performance in 2022 Half-Year Reports

 

 

Global News Reports That Wema Bank Plc, pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank and one of Nigeria’s most resilient banks, has posted a growth performance across all financial indices in the First-Half of its 2022 operations. This information is contained in the Financial Results for the Period Ended 30 June, 2022 released in Lagos on 28 July, 2022.

 

 

Wema Bank records impressive financial performance in 2022 Half-Year Reports

In the report, the bank recorded an increase of 50 percent in its Gross Earnings from the ₦39.82 billion it recorded in H1 of 2021 to ₦59.59 billion. It also grew its Interest Income by 55 percent year-on-year, from the ₦32.19 billion recorded at this period last year to ₦49.75 billion. The bank’s Non-Interest Income went up from ₦7.64 billion in the period ended 30 June, 2021 to ₦9.85 billion, an increase of 29 percent.

 

 

 

Similarly, Wema Bank recorded a 43 percent increase in Profit before tax (PBT) from ₦4.30 billion over the same period last year to ₦6.13 billion for the period under review. The bank’s Profit after tax (PAT) also increased from ₦3.72 billion in H1 2021 to ₦5.30 billion reflecting a raise of 42 percent.

 

 

 

The bank also grew its deposit by 13 percent from ₦968.17 billion reported in FY 2021 to ₦1.09 trillion in the H1 2022. It also grew its loans and advances from ₦418.86 billion to ₦447.23b in H1 2022, an increase of seven percent.

 

 

 

Ademola Adebise, the Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of the bank, attributed the remarkable performance to increased customer satisfaction the bank delivers through its investment in technology.

 

 

 

“Our performance has shown strong and promising results in the second quarter. Customers have continually shown trust in our proficiency, innovation, and service delivery even as the market gets more challenging. That said, I am confident, that despite increased volatility and uncertainty, we will continue to scale up, manoeuvre the environment, creatively manage our resources, and drive long-term, substantial returns for shareholders.”

 

 

 

In his own remarks, the bank’s Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Tunde Mabawonku, explained that the strong performance stems from the bank’s diversification of its business and value derived from its digital assets.

 

 

 

“This has been a strong first half with Interest Income up 55% and Profit Before Tax up 43% compared to H1 2021.” Mabawonku said.

 

 

“This strong showing is down to diversification at different levels of our businesses. Also, it is a testament to the advantage of our investment in digital banking assets which have continued to boost customer satisfaction and build trust for us.

 

 

 

Also, we are aware of the challenges that the rising cost of living is having on our customers and stakeholders. Given the size of our balance sheet and income growth, we have trust in our ability to continue to provide support and help cushion the impact of growing costs in the market,” he explained.

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