The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines aimed at reducing non-performing loans in the banking sector and to monitor chronic loan defaulters. This was disclosed in a circular the apex bank issued to all banks and other financial institutions tagged ‘Operational Guidelines on global standing instruction – Individuals.’
The Guidelines are expected to take off from August 1, 2020. The GSI guidelines give banks the power to debit loan and accrued interest due from bank accounts of loan defaulters across the Nigerian banking system. The NIBSS will manage the entire operations of the GSI on behalf of banks using customers Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).
Guidelines on global standing instruction
The circular, which was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, stated,
“The Bankers’ Committee, at its meeting on February 18, 2020, approved the go-live on the Global Standing Instruction, which aimed at facilitating an improved credit repayment culture; reducing non-performing loans in the Nigerian banking system; and watch-listing consistent loan defaulters.”
“The banks would review and validate the GSI mandate instrument prior to loan disbursement. They would indemnify the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and other participating financial institutions from all liabilities that may arise from inappropriate use of the GSI infrastructure,” it added.
The CBN added that the banks would retain copies of physical or digital version of the executed GSI mandate and provide same when required. According to CBN, the participating financial institutions must execute the GSI mandate agreement with NIBSS.
It stated, “They must also ensure all qualifying accounts were properly maintained and visible to NIBSS on the industry customer accounts database or by any other service created or provisioned for this purpose.”
The guidelines stated that they must “ensure that accounts in NIBSS’ ICAD are correctly tagged with correct Bank Verification Number, and ensure and maintain connectivity to the Nigeria Central Switch.
How GSI will work
Bank borrowers are expected to sign a GSI mandate in hard copy or digital form. Once this is done all qualifying accounts are linked to his/her BVN.
- Qualifying accounts include savings accounts, current accounts, domiciliary accounts, domiciliary accounts, investment accounts and joint accounts.
- These accounts are all expected to be linked to a BVN. If for any reason the borrower has an account that is not linked to their BVN, the account will be watch listed.
- Once a borrower defaults on an outstanding principal and interest, the bank instructs NIBSS to debit the bank account of the defaulter.
Last year the central bank revealed plans that it was in conjunction with the NIBSS and the Bankers’ Committee agreeing to launch an initiative that will allow lenders to recover loans from deposit accounts of loan defaulters from any bank or financial institution in the country. This was a process that started in May 2019 by the bankers committee “declaring war” on non-performing loans.
In August, CBN Deputy Governor Aishah Ahmad, the Deputy Governor of the CBN at the end of the meeting of the Bankers’ Committee held in Abuja revealed that they have now allowed banks to come up with a credit risk protection clause that allows banks to recover their loans.
“This is going to be a credit risk protection clause. Basically, it will contain the BVN details and TIN of the customers and more or less it will be a commitment on the part of the customers that you agree that should you default on the loan, the total amount of deposits you have across the banking industry would be applied towards repaying the loan.”
What this means
With the latest approval granted by the CBN to banks, loan defaulters who have funds in accounts across any bank in the country should expect debit alert from their respective banks any moment from now.
- The new approval also means that for interested loan applicants, a new clause has been introduced, which mandates you to give consent to your bank to debit your accounts in any Nigerian bank where you have funds in the event of you defaulting.
- Although, the right to setoff account balances has existed among banks in the past but hasn’t been operational across all banks.
- It was learned that once a customer defaults on their loans, relying on BVN, NIBSS will first recover the loans from the defaulter’s balance in any account within the bank. If that is not enough, it will proceed to other accounts deposited in other banks.
- The guidelines apply to savings accounts, current accounts, domiciliary accounts, domiciliary accounts, investment accounts and joint accounts.
- Download GSI guidelines.
Union Bank Nigeria Plc issues disclaimer against purported sale of owner’s stake
Union Bank has rejected claims that its majority shareholder, Atlas Mara is considering selling its 50% stake.
The Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has today issued a disclaimer against an unsubstantiated publication by one of Nigeria’s leading online news site, that its principal owner is considering selling its 50% stake in the firm.
The disclaimer was signed by the bank’s secretary, Somuyiwa Sonubi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.
Recall that a few days ago, some online news website had reported that Union Bank’s principal owner, Atlas Mara is considering selling its stake in the firm, after receiving bids from local banks. The report has it that Atlas Mara engaged the services of a financial advisor, Rothschild & Co to consider the deal.
In a bid to shed more light on the issue and allay the fears of stakeholders, Union Bank dismissed the claims, describing it as a mere ‘rumour and speculation’. It went further to advise relevant stakeholders which comprises of the members of the public, its customers, NSE and other regulatory bodies to disregard the speculation in its entirety.
Corroborating the stand maintained by the bank, Atlas Mara also rejected the report. It clarified the issue of contracting external advisers, noting that it was in line with the Board’s decision to explore a wide range of strategic options.
An excerpt of the disclaimer issued by the firm reads: “While it is the Company’s practice to refrain from comment on market rumours or speculation, we believe it is important to note that Atlas Mara has not received any offers from any local Nigerian bank or other bank wishing to acquire the Company’s stake in Union Bank of Nigeria (“UBN”). As previously announced to the market in 2019, the Board of the Company has been exploring a wide range of strategic options with the assistance of external advisers. That process is still underway and the Company’s strategic objectives have not changed.’’
What you should know
- Atlas Mara is currently the biggest shareholder in Union Bank of Nigeria, with a stake of 49.97% (approximately 50%).
- Union Bank Nigeria Plc share price closed trading today, January 27, 2021 at N5.7, down by 3.39%. It also has a market capitalization of about N165.99 billion.
- Based on the current market capitalization, the stake of Atlas Mara translates to approximately N82.9 billion.
Ecobank Nigeria secures N50 billion 10-Year subordinated loan
Ecobank Nigeria has secured a N50 billion, 10-year bilateral subordinated loan.
Ecobank Nigeria, a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘’ETI’’) has announced that it has secured a N50 billion, 10-year bilateral subordinated loan.
This is according to a disclosure signed by the Group Head, Adenike Laoye and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.
The bilateral funding will enable the bank to maintain stable liquidity and improve its balance sheet, especially the capital adequacy ratio by an estimated circa 300 basis points.
What they are saying
The disclosure from the bank read thus:
“Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“ETI”), the parent of the Ecobank Group, announces that one of its significant subsidiaries, Ecobank Nigeria, secured N50 billion, 10-Year bilateral subordinated loan.
“The bilateral funding provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria and positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio by circa 300 basis points. The transaction proceeds would be deployed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSMEs”) and Small Corporates.”
What you should know
Ecobank Transnational Inc. had earlier recorded 11% rise in its interest income to N139.6 billion for Q3 2020, as captured by Nairametrics.
- Subordinated loans have lower priority than other debt instruments in case of liquidation. They are only repayable after other debts have been paid.
- This debt can either be secured or unsecured and it typically has a lower credit rating and higher yield than other senior debt.
Niger Insurance Plc gets shareholders nod to restructure business
Niger Insurance Plc has announced plans to restructure its insurance business into distinct but mutually dependent business entities.
Niger Insurance Plc has obtained shareholders’ approval to restructure its insurance business into general, life and business insurance, with each segment to be structured as a separate legal entity.
This is part of the resolutions passed at the 50th Annual General Meeting of Niger Insurance Plc., held on 20th of January, 2021 at Peninsula Hotel in Lekki, Lagos.
The decision to restructure the company is in a bid to make it more efficient and profitable to stakeholders, especially as efforts are geared towards overturning a loss of about 1,1723.2% Year-on-Year, earlier made by the company in its last reported financial statement, Q2, 2020, as reported by Nairametrics.
Other key decisions reached at the 50th AGM include;
- The re-appointment of Mr Ebi Enaholo and Mrs. Olufemi Owopetu as Directors of the company.
- Acceptance of the presented financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the report of the audit committee, directors and auditors.
- Directors were authorized to fix the remuneration of the auditors.
- Directors were authorized to appoint external auditors to replace retiring auditors of the company.
- The appointment of four individuals as members of the audit committee.
- A decision to restructure the company’s business capital was also reached.
In case you missed it: The shareholders of Niger Insurance Plc in the 49th Annual General Meeting approved the decision by the company’s board to raise additional capital to the tune of N15 billion, in a bid to meet the revised recapitalization targets for general and life insurance companies.
What you should know: The House of Representatives had in December 2020 directed NAICOM to suspend the mandatory deadline for the first phase of 50%-60% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance and reinsurance firms.