Enugu Internal Revenue Board Seals Off Eight Banks

enugu-boardThe Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed off eight banks in the metropolis, for failure to remit about 1Billion Naira tax to the government.

The exercise which started on Monday morning at about 5:30am, affected Access Bank PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Skye Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank and Sterling Bank, in the metropolis.

The Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emeka Odo made this known to newsmen in Enugu, that the board obtained an order from the state High Court to seal the affected banks.

Mr Odo, said sealing of the banks which is the first phase of the enforcement exercise on the major companies and institutions will remain under lock and key, to ensure that they perform their civic obligations to the state government.

He however called on customers of the affected banks not to panic as the banks are expected to take necessary actions, to enable the government serve them better.

Fitch Ratings Reviews Nigerian Banks’ Support Rating

Fitch Ratings, First Bank, seven energyFitch Ratings has revised down the Support Rating Floors (SRF) of 10 Nigerian banks to ‘no floor’ and downgraded nine banks’ Support Ratings (SR) to ‘5’ following a reassessment of potential sovereign support for the banking sector.

As a consequence, the long-term issuer default ratings of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBN Holdings PLC, Diamond Bank PLC, Fidelity Bank PLC, First City Monument Bank Limited and Union Bank of Nigeria PLC are downgraded to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, in line with their stand-alone creditworthiness as defined by their viability ratings.

The agency has affirmed the long-term IDRS of Zenith Bank PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa PLC, Wema Bank PLC and Bank of Industry (BOI).

The downgrade of the nine banks’ SRS and the revision of 10 banks’  SRFs to ‘no floor’ reflects Fitch’s view that senior creditors can no longer rely on receiving full and timely extraordinary support from the Nigerian sovereign if any of the banks become non-viable.

N47.1billion fraud: Court denies Akingbola’s recall of witness

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has rejected moves by former Intercontinental Bank boss, Erastus Akingbola, to recall a defence witness, Mrs Ayoola Ayinde, over his trial on N47.1billion fraud.

Mr Akingbola, was charged alongside his former business associate, Bayo Dada, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged stealing of N47.1billion owned by the rested Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank Plc).

He had applied to the court on October 9 to recall Mrs Ayinde, a former head of foreign operations of Intercontinental Bank to tender 75 documents as exhibits to shore up his case.

The documents were to explain the £8.5 million and £1.3 million transactions she carried out on Mr Akingbola’s instructions, which according to her, he authorized her to transfer to Fulgher Solicitors, a United Kingdom-based law firm under the bank’s regular transaction.

She was expected to tender the documents to show that the money transferred to Fulgher was owned by Rockson Engineering Ltd, an explanations that contradicted the charge before the court.

Counsel to Mr Akingbola, Chief Felix Fagoungbe, SAN has noted that “in the charge, the first defendant (Akingbola) is alleged to have stolen the bank’s money. We are now saying through these documents that the money belonged to Rockson and that the total amount on Rockson’s account was paid out based on the 75 instructions in the document including that of the first defendant.”

The EFCC counsel, Mr Godwin Obla, however objected the move to recall the witness. He submitted that it was a ploy by Akingbola’s counsel to delay the trial.

In his ruling, trial judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru held that recalling Mrs Ayinde was unnecessary because she had already tendered all the relevant documents she had in her possession as exhibits.

He further explained that, “there is nothing new the witness is coming to say. It is pointless for me to recall her. Of these 75 documents, only one is relevant to this charge and she has already tendered it and it was admitted by the court as Exhibit D4”.

He therefore ordered the defence to close its case if they had no further witnesses. The matter was then adjourned to the 23rd of Oct. at the instance of the defence who pleaded or more time to bring their last witness to court.

Court orders Akingbola to return N164 billion to Access Bank

A High Court in London has found the former chief executive officer of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola guilty of misappropriating the bank’s funds and diverting the money for his personal use.

Delivering the judgement in a fraud lawsuit filed by Access Bank  against Mr Akingbola, presiding judge Michael Burton ruled comprehensively in favour of the bank in respect of all aspects of its claims against the defendant.

In his ruling, Judge Burton said Mr Akingbola is responsible for directing the bank to buy its own shares at a loss of about N145 billion, siphoning money to companies controlled by him or his family and using Intercontinental bank’s funds to buy real estate in the U.K.

According to the judgment, Mr Akingbola wrongfully caused the bank to acquire 3.7 billion of its own shares between 2007 and 2009, and that he directed about 68 million pounds to a group of companies in which he had an interest in order to help them pay off “substantial debts”.

Intercontinental Bank one of eight lenders bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2009 after a debt crisis caused in part by loans to speculators in equities was later acquired by Access Bank.

The CBN had asked the U.K. to extradite Mr Akingbola after the bailout, though he later returned voluntarily to Nigeria in July 2010 to face the criminal case.

A trial in that matter is still ongoing.

Judgement delivered by Justice Michael Burton on the case: Access Bank Plc vs Erastus Bankole Oladipo Akingbola.

Access Bank issues $350 million eurobond: IFR

Access Bank issued a debut $350 million five-year eurobond on Thursday, with a yield of 7.25 percent, IFR said.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs acted as lead managers for the issue.

Access bank profit drops by 20.8%

Access bank PLC has declared a 20.8 percent drop in its profit after tax to N12.11 billion from N15.29 billion.

The bank in its quarterly report to the Nigerian Stock Exchange posted an interest income N52.17 billion from N102.07 billion recorded previous years for the same period under review.

Its net assets increased by 9.7 percent from N119.21 billion in 2011 to N218.57 billion.

Access bank leads financial transparency index

Access bank Plc tops a financial transparency index survey conducted by Source Capital Research in collaboration with Business Day Media Company Limited.

The financial transparency study was based on combined risk management and corporate governance disclosures in their financial reports for the year ended December 2010.

Fourteen listed banks were analysed by the research team at source capital.

According to the report, when a combination of the overall level of corporate governance and risk management disclosure by the banks was analysed and ranked, Access bank, Stanbic IBTC bank, First City Monument Bank, Ecobank bank PLC and Guaranty Trust Bank were among the top five.

Others include Diamond bank, Zenith bank, Fidelity bank, Skye bank and First bank of Nigeria.

While Access bank topped the index, the bank was found not to have disclosed information such as the compensation policy of the bank as regards its proprietary traders, the level of training its directors have on risk management, concentration risk, and trading portfolio value at risk.