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CBN’s Order to Banks on Loans May Weaken Balance Sheets – IMF

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that deposit money banks should achieve a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio could weaken their balance sheets.

 

The CBN, in a circular dated July 3, 2019, mandated all DMBs to maintain a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio of 60 per cent by September 30, 2019 in a bid to improve lending to the real sector of the nation’s economy.

 

The minimum LDR was in October reviewed to 65 per cent, which is to be attained by December 31, 2019.

 

The apex bank said failure to meet the minimum LDR would result in a levy of additional cash reserve requirement equal to 50 per cent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR.

 

The CRR is the share of a bank’s total customer deposit that must be kept with the CBN in the form of liquid cash. It is currently at 22.5 per cent.

 

“Nigeria introduced a requirement for banks to achieve a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio, which could significantly weaken banks’ balance sheets and lower the cost of funds (as banks could quote low rates to curtail new deposits),” the IMF said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Amine Mati, Mission chief and senior resident representative for Nigeria, IMF,  at the pubic presentation of the report in Lagos on Wednesday, said the fund was of the view that the regulation might need to be revisited in terms of the potential pressure on non-performing loans.

 

According to the report, Nigeria is projected to grow at 2.5 per cent in 2020, up from 2.3 per cent in 2019, driven by both oil and non-oil sectors.

 

“Medium-term growth is projected at slightly higher than 2.5 per cent, implying no progress in per capita growth. This low growth is driven by insufficient policy adjustment, a large infrastructure gap, low private investment, and banking sector vulnerabilities,” the Washington-based fund said.

 

It said since 2016, revenue in sub-Saharan Africa had risen by only 0.2 per cent of the GDP a year on average, although countries had room to mobilise, on average, between three per cent and five per cent of the GDP in revenue.

 

The IMF noted that Nigeria continued to have low tax rates, narrow tax bases and broad exemptions.

 

It said, “In several countries, tax administrative capacities remain weak, and governance is a concern. Also, the informal sector is large in many countries (such as Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea and Nigeria), resulting in low tax compliance,” it said.

 

“Mobilising more domestic revenue requires improving tax administration (such as assigning tax identification numbers for commercial importers, improving land registries, and strengthening tax audit functions, customs administration, and compliance management of large taxpayers) and reforms to broaden revenue bases, including through fewer exemptions.”

 

 


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E-Financial

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

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Amidst sustained pressures on Nigeria’s official foreign exchange resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has opened investigations into foreign exchange transactions of 55 companies and individuals.

The apex bank linked them to foreign exchange deals outside the official Investors & Exporters (I&E) window.

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

The I&E window was created by the CBN as the legitimate platform for buying and selling of foreign currencies.

Some of the major corporate organisations in the list include Stallion Nigeria Limited, a conglomerate involved in several sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The list also includes Nigeria’s leading electronic payment company, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, as well as a leading global shipping line, CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping Limited.

Other big names in the list include Petro-Afrique Energy Services Limited, Steel Force Far East Limited, Auto Petroleum Company Limited, Cavendish Mechanicals Limited, Aquashield Oil & Marine Limited, Haitch & Elf Integrated Services Limited, Fenog Nigeria Limited, and Promasidor Nigeria Limited.


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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