The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Ahmed Kuru has affirmed that the agency and the management of Polaris Bank have reached an agreement. Polaris Bank, the lender established to take over the assets and liabilities of the failed Skye Bank Plc, according to Kuru, would be sold in less than two years.
While struggling to recover non-performing loans, AMCON has set 2023 deadline for dissolving the operations of Polaris Bank.
As we exclusively reported, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced an immediate revocation of Skye Bank Plc’s operating license. The bank’s share capital had run into negative territory due to bad loan deals. It was also in urgent need of recapitalisation which its shareholders could not achieve.
As part of this development, therefore, the bank’s name was changed to Polaris Bank Limited; a bridge bank which is to oversee the liquidated entity until AMCON finds a new buyer.
In the meantime, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele explained the legal reason behind the bank’s name change. According to him, the apex bank and the Federal Government had invested close to N800 billion in the bank.
“Having gotten to a point where the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government has invested close to N800 billion in this bank, at some point, it had to be seen to be owned by the CBN until we find investors that will be willing to pay a fair price for the business. That is the compelling reason the name had to change.
So, we did not just give the bank a sexy name. The name had to be changed for legal reasons.” – Emefiele
Revealing why AMCON intervened in the Skye Bank issue, Kuru said it was due to a lot of systemic issues, including saving more than 5,000 jobs and almost N1 trillion in deposits.
“It is a very big bank and if you allow anything to happen to it, it will affect some other financial institutions. AMCON has no plans to establish another rescue package for the country’s banks.” – Kuru