Access Bank Plc said it will no longer be going forward with its earlier decision to collect accrued stamp duty charges (for February through to April) from its customers. This followed a serious social media backlash against the tier-1 bank this weekend, as customers expressed their utter dissatisfaction over the debits.
In a statement issued on Twitter, Access Bank explained the decision to cancel the stamp duty collection was because it cared about its customers. The bank, however, maintained that the earlier decision to withdraw the accrued charges was legal.
In the meantime, Access Bank said it will go ahead and bear the cost of the stamp duty (for February through to April 2020 alone) on behalf of its customers. Note that stamp duty charges on bank customers’ transactions are usually collected by the banks on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Part of the statement by Access Bank said:
“Stamp duty charge collection is in compliance with the mandate of the ‘Finance Act, 2019 (Stamp Duty Act, Cap S8). We are required by law to apply this charge as applicable and remit all funds to the Federal Government.
“However, we have heard our customers’ feedback that this charge is unwelcome, especially at this time against a challenging economic backdrop. We have considered your feedback and have decided to pay the stamp duty on our customers’ behalf for the affected period only. This means all individual and SMEs who were debited for the accumulated stamp duty charge for February to April 2020, will be refunded.”
— Access Bank Plc (@myaccessbank) June 28, 2020
To this end, Access Bank said it hopes the decision to refund all those who were debited would go a long way towards making them feel better.
Recall that Nairametrics reported last week about Access Bank informing its customers ahead of the stamp duty debits this weekend. An email sent by the tier-1 bank to its customers, as seen by Nairametrics, had explained that the accrued charges were not debited between February and April when they were supposed to, due to an omission on the part of Access Bank. The bank had, therefore, apologised to the customers for the inconvenience. But apparently, many customers claim they did not receive this notification, hence the backlash.
Investigation by Nairametrics reveal some of the banks customers have started receiving credit alerts on the phones. In a reversal seen by Nairametrics, the account holder was credited N100 at 20.31pm with a description “REFUND OF STAMP DUTY” included in the alert.
Stanbic IBTC observes closed period, as directors set to consider H1 results
The directors will also consider a proposal to pay an interim dividend to shareholders.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc announced earlier today that its board of directors will meet on Wednesday, July 29, as part of preparations towards the release of the company’s consolidated and separate audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider a proposal to pay the company’s shareholders an interim dividend.
A statement issued by the Stanbic IBTC to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) noted that the scheduled board meeting is in tandem with guidelines contained in section 1.2 of the NSE’s rules book.
In the meantime, the bank Hold-Co has already commenced observing its closed period ahead of the release of the half-year financial statements. Specifically, Stanbic IBTC began observing its closed period on June 1st, 2020, the implication being that all insiders and their relatives have been prohibited from trading the company’s shares for more than one month now.
Note that the Stanbic IBTC’s closed period will continue until the half-year financial statements are released. Part of the statement which was signed by Chidi Okezie (Company Secretary), said:
“In accordance with the provisions of Section 1.2 of the Rules of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The NSE) relating to Board Meetings and General Meetings of Issuers, we would like to notify The NSE and our Shareholders, that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (the Company) is scheduled to hold on Wednesday 29 July 2020 at 1:00 pm. The meeting will discuss amongst other items, the Company’s Consolidated and Separate Audited Financial Statements for the Half-year ended 30 June 2020 as well as a proposed interim dividend.
“In view of the above, the closed period for the release of half-year results, which commenced on Monday, 01 June 2020 will continue to be in effect until the release of the Company’s Half-year audited financial statements.”
Recall that the last earnings report that was released by Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc was for Q1 2020. The unaudited report showed that gross earnings stood at N61.4 billion as against N58.7 billion in Q1 2019, even though interest income for the period declined by 12% year on year to N27.5 billion. Meanwhile, profit for the period stood at N20.6 billion, an increase when compared to N19.2 billion in Q1 2019.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ share price closed at N30.25 at the end of today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Year to date, the stock has declined by nearly -20%.
Union Bank announces closed period as it readies to release H1 2020 result
Union Bank reported a profit after tax of N6 billion in Q1 2020.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has informed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other stakeholders about the commencement of its closed period, which will start today and last until 24 hours after the company’s H1 2020 unaudited financials are eventually made available to the public.
A public disclosure that was sent to the NSE also notified stakeholders that Union Bank’s board of directors are set to meet on Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 to deliberate on and approve the half-year financial statements.
Meanwhile, in view of the closed period, therefore, all directors and employees of the bank, as well as all other insiders, shall be prohibited from buying and selling the bank’s shares on the NSE. This is in compliance with the rule book of the Nigerian bourse.
The statement by Union Bank said:
“In compliance with the NSE Rule Book and the Amendments to the Listing Rules, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“the Bank”) hereby notifies The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“The Exchange”) and our esteemed stakeholders that the Board of Directors of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“the Board”) is scheduled to approve the Unaudited Financial Statements for the half-year period ended 30th June 2020 on Thursday, 23rd July 2020.
“Consequently, there will be a closed period in respect of which no insider of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc may buy and or sell shares of the Bank from 8th July 2020 to twenty-four (24) hours after the filing of the Unaudited Financial Statements with The Exchange.”
Recall that Union Bank released its Q1 2020 financial statement back in April this year, reporting gross earnings of N43.9 billion for the period; a 16.5% increase from N37.6 billion reported in Q1 2019. In the same vein, profit after tax from continued operations also increased from N4.9 billion in Q1 2019 to N6 billion in Q1 2020.
Union Bank’s stock closed yesterday’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange at a share price of N5.45. Year to date, the stock has gained by roughly about 10%.
CBN gives approval for Stirling Trust to start offering cash-in-transit services
Stirling Trust Company Limited specialises in financial services, investment, logistics & human capital management services.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved Stirling Trust Company Limited’s bid to commence cash-in-transit operations in the country.
The approval, which became effective in April this year, was just recently announced by the apex bank in a circular that was signed by the Director of Currency Operations Department, Ahmed B Umar, and addressed to all deposit money banks as well as all licensed CITs and CPCs in the country.
The circular also encouraged all respective stakeholders to “assist” Stirling Trust Company Limited in the discharge of their new duty. The circular said:
“Please be informed that Stirling Trust Company Limited has been granted approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commence Cash-in-Transit operations in Nigeria with effect from April 23, 2020.
“kindly accord Stirling Trust Company Limited all necessary assistance in the discharge of their functions as Cash-in-Transit service provider.”
Stirling Trust Company Limited, which is a Lagos-based company incorporated in 1989, specialises in financial services, investment, logistics & human capital management services. Following its newest license, the company will now utilise its state-of-the-art armored vehicles (bullion vans) to transport cash across the country. Already, Stirling Trust Company Limited has a notable list of clientele which include First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
It should be noted that cash-in-transit operation is very critical to the Nigerian economy, as cash needs to be constantly moved around in order to keep the economy running.