Wema emerges first Nigerian Bank to seek regional licence


-set to raise N7.5 billion via Placement


Lagos (investadvocate)- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday September 05 2010 confirmed that Wema Bank Plc (Wema) has emerged the first Nigerian Bank to apply for a Regional Banking licence in Nigeria. And has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise a N7.5 billion fresh fund via a Special Placement.


The amount is to enable the Bank meet the minimum capital requirement;  Wema and Unity Bank Plc were given until June 30 2010 deadline to achieve this, the CBN again extended same by three months; ending  September 30 2010.


The Nigeria’s Apex Bank further affirmed that the reason for the extension was the unexpected 3-month extension of setting up the Asset Management Corporation (AMCON), to acquire and manage non-performing Bank loans and dispose off assets acquired with Toxic loans; enabling Banks function effectively.


Wema in its bdi to recapitalize and become a Regional Bank had offered N9.0 billion worth of shares to two local investors earlier in September 2010.


In the same vein, CBN confirmed that Unity Bank has increased its Capital Base to the mandatory minimum of N25 billion for a Cpmmercial Bank; after raising N17.34 billion and 10 percent (10%) through a Rights Issue.


In a Statement issued September 08 2010 by Muhammad Abdullahi, Head, Corporate Affairs of Nigeria’s Central Bank, the Apex Bank confirmed it had come up with a blue-print for reforming the Nigerian financial system which includes the enhancement of the quality of banks, financial system stability and evolution of healthy financial sector.


“The CBN in compliance with the statutory provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) regarding the conduct of banking business; concluded the review of the universal banking model in Nigeria and issued new rules and guidelines for the envisaged new licensing regime”. The Statement said.


Nigeria’s Apex Bank affirmed that all the existing universal banks are required to prepare and submit to it their plans on compliance with the new banking regime not later than 90 days from October 04 2010.


With the new guidelines, Banks will operate as Regional, National or International Banks. International Banks will require N50 billion, National Bank N25 billion and Regional Banks N10 billion Capital Base respectively.


Wema as a Regional Bank will operate only in about 6-12 States and National Banks will operate in all 36 States of Nigeria.





Comments are closed.