The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has hit commercial banks (deposit money banks) with a debit of N321.6 billion in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) related sequesters.
The cash reserve requirement is the minimum amount banks are expected to leave retained with the Central Bank of Nigeria from customer deposits. In January, the CRR was increased by 5% to 27.5% by the CBN Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who explained that the decision was intended to address monetary-induced inflation whilst retaining the benefits from the CBN’s LDR policy.
Sources inform Nairametrics these debits occurred towards the end of the week as CBN steps up efforts to sweep excess liquidity from the banking system. Information gathered by Nairametrics reveals about 17 banks had their vaults debited by the apex bank in CRR sequesters.
CRR debits have remained frequent since late last year when the CBN introduced policy measures that it hoped will force banks to lend more to the private sector. Between December 2019 and July 2020, Nairalytics (the research arm of Nairametrics) estimates about N4.8 trillion has been debited from bank deposits as CRR. Total banking reserves held by the CBN as CRR is estimate at N2 trillion.
- Recent published second-quarter banking results also reveal the spate of debits. Union Bank of Nigeria reported its total cash reserve requirement increased from N296 billion as at December 2019 to N484.5 billion as at June 30th, 2020. This suggests the central bank has debited Union Bank N188 billion in additional CRR between January and June 2020. .
- Sterling Bank reported that the CBN restricted about N215.5 billion of its customer deposits as of June 2020.
- FBNH one of Nigeria’s largest banking entities also reported about N797 billion of its cash remained with the CBN in CRR debits as at June 2020.
What’s the big deal? Whilst banks have complained bitterly about the spate of debits and attendant effects on their deposits, their profits appear to remain robust despite the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the banking sector was one of the fastest-growing in the economy at about 28.41% in the second quarter and recorded a 24% growth in the first quarter of 2020.
This suggests the plausible reason for all the debits is perhaps as a monetary policy tool geared towards foreign exchange management. Since the CBN whittled down its OMO bills borrowings, it has resorted to pseudo capital controls to manage the forex liquidity.
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To reduce the amount of naira chasing the dollar, the CBN offers higher interest rates on naira deposits. However, with interest rates at one of the lowest in recent years, sequestering excess banking funds appears a logical policy to reduce the ability of banks to engage in roundtripping.
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously cited CRR as N11 trillion. It has now been corrected.
Young female professionals in insurance are constrained by inadequate opportunities – Dive In
Young female professionals in the insurance sector are constrained by inadequate opportunities, a survey has revealed.
A survey has revealed that despite the ambition to attain a top-level career, young female professionals in the insurance sector are constrained by inadequate opportunities relative to gender bias and unequal pay.
The survey, which was conducted by Dive In team, also found that female professionals in the sector face limitations on their rise to leadership amid other challenges.
The survey, which was disclosed at the Dive In Nigeria Festival webinar on Thursday, further highlighted that females are willing and ready to take up more challenging roles within the sector and have to resort to professional bodies for support and guidance in their careers.
At the webinar themed ‘Promoting Inclusion & Diversify in the Nigerian Insurance Industry for a Quantum Leap, which was attended by Nairametrics, the immediate past Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Funmi Omo, one of the top 100 women CEOs in Africa, explained that equal opportunities, equal pay, female empowerment, and commitment from leadership in firms are crucial to the development of the sector in Nigeria.
She said, “Women should be seen as the backbone of any economy, and as such, they need to be given more attention. From the insurance standpoint, we need to have a more structural and deliberate approach to thrive. Diversity is very good, it brings about balance. Leaders have to step up to make the insurance sector more welcoming and structured. They need to be flexible and avoid being rigid and also take advantage of the newness and freshness of the younger generation. Do not micromanage them, let them explore, allow them to breathe, and make their own mistakes so they can see a future in the industry.”
Some leading females in the industry also lent their voice to the younger female professionals in insurance & finance in a campaign titled “Letters to my younger self.”
They shared lessons that would help the younger generation develop a mindset and character required for success within the sector.
Other speakers included Adetola Adegbayi, Executive Director, General Insurance Business Division, Leadway Assurance Company Ltd, a Legal Practitioner with extensive experience in Legal Research, Corporate Legal Practice, Insurance, and Financial Services; Nike Anani, Co-Founder African Family Firms, a firm dedicated to assisting second-generation family members (“NextGens”) in identifying and implementing new opportunities, shortening the journey from identification to impact.
On steps being taken to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring strategies, MD, African Reinsurance Corporation, Dr. Corneille Karekezi said, “We are aware that women are not well represented in the workplace and as such at Africa Re Group, we make special provision for women inclusion in nomination for senior roles, provision for tribal diversity and inclusion to drive equality within the corporation.”
He stressed that the mandate for them at his firm is, integrating Africa, and to achieve this, it is important that diversity and inclusion are promoted.
“Communications and the intention to achieve equality helps us ensure diversity and inclusion,” he added.
About Dive In
Dive In is a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures. Its mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case and promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms.
CBN reduces MPR from 12.5% to 11.5%
The Governor of the CBN has announced the reduction of MPR from 12.5% to 11.5%.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has voted to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), from 12.5% to 11.5%. This was disclosed by Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, while reading the communique at the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday.
The committee retained CRR at 27.5%, stating that the recent inflationary pressures is not driven by monetary policies, rather as a result of structural policies.
Highlights of the Committee’s decision
- Reduce the MPR by 100 basis points, from 12.5% to 11.5%
- Adjust asymmetric corridor, from +200/-500 to +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
- Retain CRR at 27.5%
- Retain liquidity ratio at 30%
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
According to Emefiele, the Committee reviewed the choices before it, bearing in mind its primary mandate of price stability, and the need to support the recovery of output growth. Consequently, the Committee noted that the likely action aimed to address the rise in domestic prices would have been to tighten the stance of policy, as this will not only moderate the upward pressure on prices, but will also attract fresh capital into the economy, and improve the level of the external reserves.
The Committee however, noted that this decision may stifle the recovery of output growth, and drive the economy further into contraction.
On easing the stance of policy
The MPC was of the view that this action would provide cheaper credit to improve aggregate demand, stimulate production, reduce unemployment, and support the recovery of output growth.
In addition, the Committee noted the tendency of an asymmetric response to downward price adjustments by ‘Other Depository Corporations’, thus undermining the overall beneficial impact of a reduction, to the cost of capital.
After all considerations, members were of the opinion that the option to loose will complement the Bank’s commitment to sustain the trajectory of the economic recovery, and reduce the negative impact of COVID-19.
He also stated that, liquidity injections are expected to stimulate credit expansion to the critically impacted sectors of the economy, and offer impetus for output growth and economic recovery.
Based on the foregoing, the Committee decided to reduce the MPR by 100 basis points to 11.5% and adjust the asymmetric corridor to +100/-700 around the MPR.
MPC projects economic growth
Recall, that the Nigerian economy contracted by 6.1% (year-on-year) in the second quarter of the year, as a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MPC however, projects a positive growth in the last quarter or at least Q1 2021.
“With a persistent focus on activities meant to reverse the contraction, the MPC projects growth at positive levels in Q4 2020, or latest by Q1 2021, based on the anticipated positive results from the coordinated and sustained interventions by both the monetary and fiscal authorities.”
CBN grants Greenwich Trust Limited operational license for merchant banking
CBN has upscaled Greenwich Trust Limited to the status of a merchant bank.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has upscaled Greenwich Trust Limited and granted it, operational license for merchant banking in the country.
According to an official statement released by the firm, the entity would be known as Greenwich Merchant Bank Limited. This license allows Greenwich Merchant Bank to upscale and offer such diverse services as corporate banking, investment banking, financial advisory services, securities dealing, treasury wealth and asset management, etc., making it possible to provide increased value to stakeholders beyond its previous scope.
Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data
Recall that the minimum capital requirements for establishing a merchant bank according to Merchant Banking Licensing Regulations in 2010 are N15 billion
With the addition of Greenwich Merchant Bank, Nigeria now has six merchant banks. The others are; FBN Quest, Coronation Merchant Bank, DSH Merchant Bank, Nova Merchant Bank and Rand Merchant Bank.
About Greenwich Trust Limited
Greenwich Trust Limited is an investment banking firm duly registered with relevant authorities such as the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is a diversified firm with subsidiaries such as Asset management, GTL Properties, GTL Securities Limited, Cedar Express Limited and Meyer Plc.