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Bank categorization not acceptable —MD, Ikorodu Div MFB

By Amaka Agwuegbo
The Managing Director of Ikorodu Division MFB, Mr. Martins Nwankwo, has said that the bank categorization to be undertaken by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is not acceptable as it negates the gains of the nascent banking reforms.

Speaking with Vanguard, Nwankwo stressed that such categorization is totally unacceptable as the total economy of the country would be adversely affected.

It would be recalled that the CBN, last Monday, announced a new policy in the banking industry aimed at stopping the practice of universal banking by banks within the next 18 months in favour of niche banking and specialization within the industry.

To this extent, it stated that it shall begin the re-licensing of banks that want to operate in specific areas of the financial sector such as mortgage, investment, micro-financing or international banking.

The plan of the apex bank was announced during a post Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja last week by the Director Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Sam Oni, who said the idea is aimed at restructuring the banking sector and bringing an end to ‘one size fits all’ system currently operated by many banks in the country.
But according to Mwankwo, “The proposed bank is not right, therefore, it is totally unacceptable because we have just started universal banking and have just started seeing the results which are opening other sectors and subsidiaries and, in the process, are employing more specialized hands.

“Insurance is no longer as it used to be since banks deployed professionals to that sector, which has shaped things. The CBN should not play politics with this without taking cognizance of the economy. We have passed the stage of limiting Wema Bank to the west and Bank of the North to the north. The total economy of the country should be looked at so as to be able to employ the best approaches that would be beneficial to all zones of the country because the international community doesn’t know north, west, east, but Nigeria as a whole.

Explaining further, the Director Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Sam Oni said “We are coming up with a new banking system structure to look at how we think banks will begin to do business in terms of assisting the economy, in ensuring that depositors’ funds are not put into danger.”

He noted that based on this, CBN is rolling out a holding company structure model for the financial system which will bring all of those present services and subsidiaries of banks into a financial holding company. This will be a non-operating holding structure model in which a bank will become a subsidiary of the non-operating holding company.Disputing this, Nwankwo pointed out that the international community doesn’t know the west, east or north, but deals with Nigeria as a whole.


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