The Board and Management of Oceanic Bank International Plc have solicited the support of its shareholders in its plans to boost its capital base.
Speaking at a forum with shareholders of the banks, Apostle Hayford Alile, Chairman, Oceanic Bank International Plc commended the shareholders for their support over the years.
He noted that the bank remained commitment to ensuring better returns for all shareholders through excellent banking services provided along the lines of globally accepted best practices.
Also speaking, Mr. John Aboh, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Bank, stated that the bank had effectively addressed the corporate governance and risk management deficiencies that led to the CBN intervention, last year.
According to him, the bank had since achieved stability, growing customer confidence as well as a return to profitability as of March 31, 2010.
He said, â€œI am delighted to report that the worst is over and what we need to do now is to collaborate on adopting an effective recapitalization plan that will give the Bank a strong competitive edge in the Nigerian banking sector and beyond.â€
He said that the management with the support of the Board had come up with a recapitalisation plan that includes a combination of several options, which, according to him, include: bad loan recoveries, provision write-backs from restructured credits, and sale of non-performing loans to the recently established Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. (AMCON).
The bank, he said, is also considering the option of inflow of capital from a strategic investor with proven track record in good corporate governance practices as well as professional management in the banking sector.
â€œWe have received expression of interest from core investors desirous of buying into the bank. The management will continue to carry all stakeholders along from the moment definitive discussions commence in this regard.
â€œThe assurance from management is that ultimately which ever option the bank adopts will provide a platform for a solid future for the bank,â€ he said.
He explained that the eventual recapitalisation of the bank would translate to better returns for all stakeholders, better services for customers, growth and profitability of the business, job security for staff, and a solid future that would see Oceanic Bank retaining its position as a reputable global brand in the finance sector.
Speaking on the bankâ€™s financials, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale, Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer, said as of June 2010, customer deposits had grown in excess of N600 billion, an indication of the acceptance of the brand in the sector.
Adewale reported that the Bank had hit about N98 billion in loan recoveries while sustaining a profit run rate of approximately N2 billion monthly.
She added that the Bankâ€™s books now bear a true picture and fair picture of its state following rigorous analysis of the past records.
Expressing their appreciation for the quality of achievements made in the Bank so far, the shareholders commended the management for its commitment to transparency, good corporate governance and consistent shareholder interactions. They however, urged the management to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in determining the Bankâ€s future.
Dr. Faruk Umar, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of the Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), said he was impressed by the bankâ€™s return to profitability, adding that it was indicative of the effectiveness of the recovery plan put in place by the management.
â€œI want to commend the management and staff of the Bank for rising up to the occasion of repositioning the Bank and believe that Oceanic Bank has a bright future ahead as we all continue to work with a common goal. The shareholders are solidly behind the management and will continue to give good counsel when called upon.â€
Sir Sunny Nwosu, president, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) urged the Bankâ€s management to ensure that all options are critically examined to ensure an effective recapitalization plan is eventually adopted.
While commending the ongoing banking reforms, Brigadier Emmanuel Ikwue (rtd) Chairman, Coordinating Committee of the Zonal Shareholders Association, implored shareholders to support the Board and management in determining the preferred direction for the Bankâ€s recapitalisation.
Responding to comments made by shareholders, Aboh assured that the Bankâ€s management remained committed to ongoing dialogue with shareholders and all stakeholders to ensure a solid future for the Bank.