Two of the nationalised banks, Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank, yesterday paid the sum of N70 billion and N50 billion respectively, owed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).The debts were the money the CBN used to bail them out in 2009.
The banks have been fully recapitalised by their new owners – the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which advanced N678 billion and have also complied with the CBN capital adequacy ratio.
Oti Ikomi, new group managing director and chief executive officer of Keystone Bank said the bank has satisfied all the financial ratio requirements of the CBN and is ready to start commercial banking business.
Ikomi explained that he has the mandate of the bank’s sole shareholder – AMCON, to fully reposition the bank in the next two to three years, to an enviable level that will attract new investors.
“It is not AMCON’s intention to remain shareholders of the bank for long”, he told reporters at a press briefing in Lagos.
Ikomi, who said he was being called to national duty from his former place of employment at Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) as vice president in Johannesburg, South Africa , noted that he intends to key in to the transformation agenda of a cashless economy, of the CBN, as well as re-brand the bank.
He assured the banks’ depositors of the safety of their deposits, saying that they could go to sleep without worry. He also thanked the depositors for their support during the trying period.
“They have stood by us even when some skeptics expected difficulties”, he said.
Ikomi said he and the new directors had earlier briefed the senior staff of new developments.
He assured the staff of the bank of the security of their jobs, stressing that there would not be any major changes for now.
Meanwhile, Mainstreet Bank Limited (MBL), yesterday said in a press statement, that it was now well positioned to fulfill its financial obligations.
The statement said the N50 billion loan repayment was a demonstration of the bank’s strong liquidity position and an assurance of the safety of customer deposits as well as a demonstration of the bank’s capacity to play big in the banking industry.
“MBL is now in a good position to be an active player in the inter-bank market, handle big ticket transactions and support customer businesses” said the statement.
The board of the MBL is chaired by Falalu Bello, with Faith Tuedor-Matthews as the Managing Director.