THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided loan to Skye Bank Plc to boost its liquidity after the lender breached requirements on capital and lending.
The short-term lending facility will allow the new management to “ensure that some withdrawals it suffered in the wake of the undue panic of last week do not adversely affect its operations,’’ Isaac Okorafor, a spokesman for the CBN told Bloomberg.
The regulator has also issued guarantees to the bank’s depositors and creditors as a demonstration of its health, he said.
The CBN replaced top managers of the lender earlier this month after it breached required thresholds for liquidity and non-performing loans. While the regulator moved to calm markets, assuring that the bank and indeed, the industry remained healthy, its stock plunged to record lows, leading to declines among other lenders.
Skye Bank’s shares, however, rose for the fourth straight day yesterday, gaining nine per cent to 85 kobo in Lagos trading, the best performance on the 171-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index. Almost 53 million shares were traded, more than three times the three-month average. It has declined by 46 per cent this year, compared with a 1.8 per cent retreat by the Nigerian All Share Index. The CBN said it has no plan to sell Skye Bank.
In an earlier statement, the new management at Skye Bank said the lender’s fundamentals remained strong and virile, assuring customers and other stakeholders of the safety of their funds and investments.
Its Group Managing Director/CEO, Tokunbo Abiru, said his team would leverage on the bank’s reputable information technology platform to make it not just a frontline retail and commercial bank, but also an industry leader.
Abiru, who outlined his vision for the lender, said his team would harness the expertise and skill sets of the bank’s employees and the reconstituted board to take the bank to new heights.
He noted that as a Systematically Important Bank (SIB), Skye Bank occupies a sensitive role in the financial life of Nigerians and the entire West African sub-region.