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Group flays CBN’s plan to classify banks

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
The plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to categorise banks into infrastructure banks, non-interest banks, agricultural banks, banks that cater for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, and regional banks has been described as a step toward financial confusion by the Renaissance Professionals.

In a statement issued, Thursday, they said “The proposed categorisation of banks which Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the CBN Governor is set to introduce into the Nigerian banking system is nothing but a recipe that will cause confusion in the financial system, further weaken the financial sector and set back the gains made by the financial system in the last five years.”

They, therefore, called on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan ”to stop Sanusi from doing critical damage to the Nigerian financial system which will take years to reverse.”

Sanusi had said CBN planned  to approve a new banking model which will “provide for the classification of specialised banks such as infrastructure banks, non-interest banks, agricultural banks, banks that cater for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and regional banks.”

Renaissance Professionals argued that these ”so-called new banking model” is nothing “new” as the Nigerian financial system is already highly categorised with institutions already existing to deal with the various target markets that CBN claims it seeks to now target with new model.

Already existing in the Nigerian financial system are 24 universal banks with a global appeal and 900 micro-finance banks which target market are mainly small and medium scale industries at the local government and state level.

Besides, there are also 98 mortgage banks, 84 finance houses, 600 Class B bureaux de change, 50 Class A bureau de change, Five development finance institutions which comprises a Federal Mortgage Bank, Bank of Industry, Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank, Nigeria Export and Import Bank and the Urban Development Bank. The Nigerian financial system also has five very active discount houses.


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