Why CBN replaced board, management of Skye Bank

Why CBN replaced board, management of Skye Bank
Why CBN replaced board, management of Skye Bank

Why CBN replaced board, management of Skye Bank

On Monday the management and the entire board members of Skye Bank announced that they had “voluntarily” resigned after failing to steer the bank out of its liquidity palaver.

In an email to staff, former group managing director of the bank, Timothy Oguntayo, said that “counter forces from within and outside the bank…made it impossible to achieve steady progress.” He added that despite his best effort, he could not lead the bank into a position of strength.

In another email announcing the resignation of its management and board of directors and the appointment of a replacement by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the bank said that step was necessary due to the urgent need for “new strategic direction …given the poor performance we recorded in the 2015 financial year end, and the attendant challenges”.

Similarly, the CBN described the mass resignation as “proactive” and “unavoidable”, and said the bank had persistently failed to “meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios, which has culminated in the bank’s permanent presence at the CBN Lending Window”.

“In particular, Skye Bank’s Liquidity and Non-performing loan Ratios have been below and above the required thresholds, respectively, for quite a while,” a statement by CBN stated.

While the CBN did not disclose what the “required threshold” was, an inquiry revealed the apex bank asked the bank’s management to raise a minimum of N50 billion.

Our investigation showed that efforts made by the bank to raise the fund proved abortive because its capital base had been decimated by inside credit, which are non-performing.

Having tried to raise the money locally and failed, the bank’s management tried abroad and were able to convince a Moroccan bank and a South African bank to invest in it.

Things seemed to have normalised at start but the investors lost interest because they were unimpressed by the due diligence they commissioned on the bank and its chairman, Tunde Ayeni.

According to our findings, the investors started dilly-dallying but did not tell the management of Skye Bank they were no longer interested.

That was the last straw for the management. The CBN moved in quickly to prevent the bank from collapsing and to secure depositors’ fund, our sources said.

In a letter signed by the director of banking supervision of the CBN, Benjamin Fakunle, on January 22, 2015, the apex bank extended the deadline for Skye Bank to shore-up its capital base to December 31, 2016.

The Letter titled: Re: Insider Credit, and addressed to the banks managing director reads:

“We refer to your letter dated December 10, 2015, and our exchange of correspondence on the above subject and write to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted an extension of time till December 31,2016 to enable you bring your insider related credits within the stipulated regulatory maximum of 10% of your paid up capital per director including his/her related parties and 60% paid up capital for total related credit in line with circular BSD/9?2004 on large exposure and connected lending.”

“You are required to provide quarterly reports/updates on progress made,” the letter concluded.

According to a list of 100 chronic debtors out of 12,744 released by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Skye Bank is individually owed a total of N16.46 billion and jointly owed N104.80 billion with four other banks- Zenith Bank, Intercontinental Bank, First bank of Nigeria and Union Bank.

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