Intercontinental Bank targets N100bn loan recovery



The management of Intercontinental Bank said on Monday that it was targeting the recovery of N100bn non-performing loans before the end of the year, just as it announced the commencement of a transformation project aimed at re-positioning the bank as a leading financial institution.


The Group Managing Director, Mr. Mahmoud Alabi, said at his maiden press conference in Lagos that while the bank had recovered about N78bn loans in the last three months, it was still pursuing its aggressive loan recovery effort with a focus on achieving a clean and efficient balance sheet.


He also denied that the bank paid out 10 per cent commission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the debts it helped to recover.


He said, “I am not aware of any payment to anybody, certainly not the EFCC. We send a return of all recoveries and paybacks to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the EFCC. Every amount has a voucher and we announce amounts actually recovered not amounts promised.”


Alabi, who said that the bank had overcome liquidity pressure and other challenges that led to the ouster of the former management, said that stakeholder interests would be paramount in determining the options the management would take in re-capitalising the bank.


Outlining the transformation strategy, the Intercontinental Bank helmsman said the first phase would involve costs management and other initiatives aimed at increasing branch profitability and improving mix and cost of deposits by aggressively growing savings and current accounts, while retaining public sector accounts.


He said that the cost cutting strategy would see a review of branch and staff requirements, pointing out that the bank had already commenced an appraisal of the performance of branch as efficient points of sale of its products.


Stressing that the bank had not yet laid off any staff as part of the restructuring, Alabi said that people would have to go but that such rationalisation would be done with care, empathy and consideration.


The second phase, he said would see a rebuilding of the bank’s business including re-tooling of products, especially liability generation and e-banking products to enhance customer satisfaction. He said emphasis would be on market share, especially in the retail and commercial banking segments.


Alabi also stressed that the bank had embarked on a total overhaul of its risk management and control mechanisms to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.


He said that consequent upon these, the bank would enter into the consolidation phase of its transformation project when it was expected that the bank would return to profitability and generate investor interests and ultimately lead to capital raising or business combination to increase shareholder value.


Alabi, who was not specific on what for the capital raising would take or if the bank would merge with another in the future, said however that management would act in the best interest of stakeholders.


He said, “What will guide our decision is best value for stakeholders. We will take the decision in consultation with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other advisers.” 



(Source: Punch)

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