The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended its guarantee to Skye Bank Plc for another year, just as it continues to consider the bank’s recapitalisation proposal, the bank revealed Tuesday.
In an advertisement jointly signed by its Chairman and Group Managing Director, Messrs. M. K Ahmad and Tokunbo Abiru, Skye Bank said as part of efforts to stabilise the bank, it had successfully implemented its cost optimisation initiative, which has enhanced liquidity and efficient service delivery to its customers since the regulatory-induced takeover of the bank one year ago.
“The management of Skye Bank is very appreciative of the gracious support of the CBN by way of guarantees, support, waivers and other forbearances over the course of the last one year, which have also been extended by another year.
“The bank continues to require assistance from the CBN and government as it repairs the damage inflicted on the institution in the past and charts a sustainable path forward.
“We continue to be confronted by the antics of detractors who do not wish the bank well in hopes of escaping lawful debt obligations or accountability for misdeed.
“We will ensure that all those who committed infractions against the bank restitute accordingly for their actions and all debtors meet their legitimate obligations to the bank,” the bank’s directors said.
The bank also noted that it has, as part of its aggressive recovery initiative, recovered over N60 billion of outstanding bad loans over the past one year.
“We have also reached settlement and restructuring agreements with many of the chronic bad debtors resulting in substantially improved payments and prospects of future recoveries,” they added.
They stated that through the support of the CBN, the bank successfully embarked on initiatives to restructure and reposition Skye Bank based on its broad mandate which includes cost management and optimisation, as well as divestments to improve the institution’s financial position.
Such cost containment measures, according to them, included branch rationalisation, review of service contracts and cash management operations, which have resulted in hundreds of millions of financial savings.
Further noting some of its achievements, the bank stated that it successfully arrested and managed the post-intervention situation and has, to a large extent, stemmed the tide and reduced deposit losses, thereby restoring customer confidence and stabilising the institution.
It further noted that the new management has successfully settled many matured trade and bilateral obligations and restructured outstanding balances with the relevant institutions and counterparties.
The bank also reported that it has fully divested from four local subsidiaries releasing a total cash value of N6.2 billion, and was in the process of divesting from others.
The CBN in July last year sacked the board of directors of the bank, including two of its longest-serving executive directors and immediately reconstituted a new board.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said that the central bank took what he described as a proactive step in order to save the health of the bank from further deteriorating.
To correct the anomalies in the bank, he said the CBN held several meetings with the management and board of Skye Bank as part of its strategy of close engagement whenever a bank’s financial or governance situation poses potential threats to the overall stability of the financial system.
The CBN was forced to takeover Skye Bank after its costly acquisition of the defunct Mainstreet Bank and rising non-performing loans (NPLs), some of which was linked to insider lending, had substantially eroded its capital buffers below the regulatory threshold.