CBN sacks boards of Union Bank, Keystone Bank, and Polaris Bank
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has officially dissolved the Board and Management of three prominent banks — Union Bank, Keystone Bank, and Polaris Bank.
The press release dated January 10, 2024, indicates that this action was a direct result of the banks’ non-compliance with critical regulatory provisions.
The implicated provisions, Section 12(c), (f), (g), (h) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020, cover a range of regulatory and governance expectations.
The CBN cited several concerns leading to this decision, including regulatory non-compliance, failures in corporate governance, and involvement in activities threatening financial stability.
- “This action became necessary due to the non-compliance of these banks and their respective boards with the provisions of Section 12(c), (f), (g), (h) of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020. The Bank’s infractions vary from regulatory non-compliance, corporate governance failure, disregarding the conditions under which their licenses were granted, and involvement in activities that pose a threat to financial stability, among others.” Mrs. Sidi Ali, Hakama, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN,
The CBN’s mandate is to ensure a safe, sound, and resilient banking environment for all Nigerians. In line with this responsibility, the CBN reassured the public that the safety and security of depositor funds remain a top priority.
The statement from Mrs. Sidi Ali, Hakama, Acting Director of Corporate Communications, emphasized the Bank’s commitment to uphold and protect the financial system within the country.
Recall last December, the Special CBN Investigator, Jim Obazee, called on Titan Trust Bank’s (TTB) chairman, Babatunde Lemo, for questioning regarding TTB’s acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN).
- The special investigator had in his report alleged that some persons were used as proxies by a former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to set up Titan Trust Bank and acquire Union Bank.
- However, Titan Trust Bank issued a press release denying any wrongdoing.
As per Polaris Bank, there was controversy surrounding the claims in 2022, when it was alleged that another party made a higher purchase offer during the sale of the bank compared to the offer that was eventually accepted by the central bank.
- The central bank denied the claims, stating that the divestment from Polaris Bank was supervised by a Divestment Committee (Committee) comprising senior representatives of AMCON & CBN and supported by reputable legal and financial advisers.
Context: The current central bank under the leadership of Yemi Cardoso has clearly ‘stated’ that it was investigating several alleged wrongdoings in the apex bank when it was led by Godwin Emefiele.
A leaked report by the Special Investigation on the Central Bank of Nigeria and other entities also alleged financial and legal irregularities within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele.