The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NDIC had in September this year withdrew the operating licence of Skye Bank and transferred its assets and liabilities to a newly licenced bank, Polaris Bank owned by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), for failure of its shareholders to recapitalise the bank.
Speaking at the NDIC special day at the ongoing International Trade Fair in Lagos, the managing director and chief executive of NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim, noted that the option of a bridge bank was reached as it is less costly to the macro economy.
Explaining that bridge bank is a temporary bank created to operate a failed bank until a buyer can be found, Umaru who was represented by the head of corporate communications, Muhammed Kudu, said the resolution option was reached as is less disruptive to rendition of bank services, unlike outright liquidation or depositors’ payoff.
“The staff are retained in the bridge bank and with this expert arrangement, Polaris was able to continue banking operations in the 277 branches of the bank, over 6,000 jobs were saved and depositors have unhindered access to deposits in excess of N949.60 billion as at June 2018,” he said.
He noted that all those that contributed to the failure of the bank are being investigated by relevant agencies of the government and would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent for others.
“As provided for in the NDIC Act 2006, When financial institutions fails, depositors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Interest Banks (NIBs) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) are reimbursed up to a maximum unit of N500,000, while the maximum insured coverage for depositors of MFBs is N200,000.
“However, it is important to stress that depositors who have funds in excess of the insured limits are paid dividends from the liquidation of failed banks depending on the quality of their assets and outcome of debt recoveries by the NDIC.
“The changing landscape of the Nigerian financial sector brought to fruition the broadening dimension of Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) in Nigeria. Although, this effectively altered the scope and depth of regulatory/ supervisory interventions, but the NDIC remains resolute in its determination to safeguard depositors’ funds.
“As it stands, the number of licensed MMOs by CBN is currently 23, with eight being Bank-Led and the remaining 15 Non-Bank Led. As at 2017 year end, the number of accounts in the MMOs stood at over 153 million. The NDIC provides deposit insurance coverage to subscribers of MMOS to the maximum limit of N500,000 through the Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Framework. This is to further promote financial inclusion drive across the broad spectrum of the Nigerian economy.”