Skye Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc have concluded plans to apply for international and national banking licences respectively. Intercontinental Bank Plc has also restated its commitment to retain its international banking status inwhichever arrangement the institution eventually finds itself after the ongoing recapitalisation exercise.
These developments are in line with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that banks indicate the market segment of their choice between October and the end of the year under the new banking dispensation, which abolished universal banking and stratified the market into regional, national and international.Regional banks, by the new banking rules, require a capital base of N10 billion while national and international banks need a capital base of N25 billion and N50 billion respectively.
Syke Bank said in a statement yesterday that its preference for international banking licence was informed by its desire to take advantage of the business opportunities in the West Coast and other parts of the world where business opportunities abound.
The bank already has subsidiaries in Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Guinea.The statement said Skye Bank currently has almost N100 billion capital and would soon embark on phased capital raising exercises to bolster its share capital.