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.

GT Bank Named 2013 African Bank Of The Year

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC has been named the 2013 bank of the year by the African Banker magazine.

The award recognizes financial institutions that have emerged as industry leaders and continent trend setters, due to good corporate governance practices, exceptional service delivery within the financial services industry of their country and innovative products.

Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, Mr Segun Agbaje attributed the recognition to hard work, discipline and a well-defined operating strategy.

Last year, the bank was named the best bank in Nigeria by the Euro Money magazine for the fourth consecutive year while it earned the 2011 Best Bank in Nigeria award from EMEA finance.

Guaranty Trust Bank also emerged as the first Nigerian financial institution to cross the N100 billion profit before tax milestone from operations at both bank and group levels.

Senate uncovers N3 billion illegal account with Police pension

The Senate Committee investigating pension administration in the country has uncovered an illegal account lodged with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) with the sum of N3 billion belonging to the Police pension fund.

At the resumed public hearing of the committee in its third week, the chairman of the committee, Senator Aloysius Etuk said the account was opened without the authorization of the accountant general of the federation.

However, the executive director north, UBA, Dan Okeke stated that the bank had a ‘letter of approval from the accountant-general to open the account. He also assured the committee that if allowed, he could go bring the letter.

Done with questioning the executive director of UBA, the committee then summoned seven bank chiefs and the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) to explain the series of controversial accounts on the pension fund.

The managing directors of the seven banks summoned includes, First bank PLC, Union bank PLC and Diamond bank PLC.  The others are Fidelity bank PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank PLC and Skye bank to explain the series of controversial accounts on the pension fund.

Committee members then shifted attention to the pension reform task team which it accused of being wasteful. The committee also demanded to know the whereabouts of the funds which the pension reform task team claimed to have recovered.

Former director in charge of pension in the office of the Head of Service of the federation, Dr. Shaibu Sani Teidi narrated how he sneaked into the national assembly to avoid being arrested by the EFCC who according to him have been hunting for the documents he intended to submit to the panel.

Chairman of the committee Senator Aloysius Etuk asked the EFCC not to prevent any principal witness from attending the hearing to give evidence on the irregularities in pension administration.