I do not like to sound alarmist but some Nigerian banks are particularly not in a state of good health. A recent report by Fitch on the state of the banking system also corroborates this view. Now the CBN has come out to also confirm this as well following the conclusion of its monetary committee meeting.
Here is an excerpt of their latest Monetary Committee Communique
To this end, the Committee enjoined the Management of the Bank to work with DMBs to promptly address rising NPLs, declining asset quality, credit concentration and high foreign exchange exposures.
What this means?
- The non performing loans of commercial banks are rising despite huge “one time” impairment taken by banks in the last two years.
- To make it worse, loans that are even performing face the risk of going bad. The economy is still in a poor shape and the spate of shut downs are increasing. Most companies might have gone bust by the time the economy is turned around.
- Banks have their loan exposures concentrated in a single industry. For example, reports suggest banks have about 30% of their loans in the oil and gas sector.
- Nigerian banks also have huge exposures to foreign currency denominated loans. As at December 2016, commercial banks had about N1.3 trillion in loans and advances from banks outside Nigeria.
- The CBN MPC has now mandated the management of the apex bank “to work” with the banks in resolving some of these concerns. This could mean anything from asking banks to raise capital, take down more impairments, merge, or who knows, AMCON 2.0.