Shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc, approved the decision of the Board that the financial institution should operate as a national bank based on the new guidelines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which categorises banks into three segments.
The banking watchdog had last year introduced new banking guidelines, which classifies banks to operate as merchant or commercial bank at the regional, national or international levels.
Banks operating in the country have been strategising on the category of banking operations they want to play in.
However, Sterling Bank has settled for commercial banking at the national level, which the shareholders unanimously approved at an Extra-ordinary General
Meeting held in Lagos yesterday.
Specifically, the directors asked for the authority of the shareholders for “the bank to carry on banking and operate as a commercial bank and that the board of directors be and is hereby authorised to apply to the CBN for commercial banking licence on a national basis.”
Apart from the above resolution, the Board also got the nod of the shareholders of the bank to submit a Compliance Plan to the CBN in respect of the resolution.
The shareholders, who were highly elated at the proactiveness of the Board and management of the bank, equally approved capital injection into the Bank ”as the directors may deem fit and approval of the regulatory authorities.”
Addressing the shareholders, Group Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola, explained that the bank has what it takes to operate efficiently as a national bank.
“The CBN allowed all banks to choose how they want to operate and our bank has decided to operate as a national bank because we have the required capitalisation, branch network, human capacity, among others to operate as a national bank,” he said.
Speaking on the expected capital injection, Adeola said the funds would enhance the bank’s working capital and make it operate better so as to deliver the desired returns to shareholders.
Some of the shareholders who spoke after the meeting commended the pro-activeness of the bank and its decision to carry shareholders along.
Mrs. Bisi Bakare of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria commented that “All the resolutions presented showed that the Board and management are proactive and forward looking, just as they have the interest of the shareholders in mind. This is why all the resolutions were passed unanimously.”