No plan to revoke Wema, Polaris, Unity, Fidelity licences — CBN

•Reassures public about safety of their bank deposits

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday said there are no plans to revoke the operating licenses of Fidelity Bank, Wema Bank, Polaris Bank and Unity Bank.

Acting Director of Corporate Communications of CBN, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali stated this in a statement averring that rumours of a plan to revoke the licences of the banks were false.

She also noted that a circular issued by CBN on January 10, 2024, notifying the public about the dissolution of the Boards of Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks, was being re-circulated as though it was issued on June 10, 2024.

She blamed unscrupulous people for the development aimed at creating panic in the system.
Sidi Ali reassured members of the banking public of the safety of their deposits stressing that the banking system is resilience.

She emphasised that the defunct Heritage Bank was an isolated case, adding that allegations of further revocation of licences prior to the completion of the bank recapitalisation exercise were mere fabrications of those who didn’t wish the banking sector well.

She added that even customers of Heritage Bank needn’t worry about the safety of their deposits, adding that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) had commenced payment of the bank’s insured deposits.

Mrs. Sidi Ali, therefore, urged the public to continue their regular banking activities without concern, dismissing any false reports regarding the health of specific Deposit Money Banks.

She confirmed that the CBN, with its robust regulatory framework, was proactively ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s financial system, thereby guaranteeing the safety of depositors’ funds in all Nigerian financial institutions.

While reiterating the assurances of the Governor (Olayemi Cardoso) that the recapitalisation of banks in Nigeria was intended to bolster the banking system and safeguard the sector against risks, Sidi Ali urged all stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring the success of the process, which she noted would be for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy.

She said: “Without prejudice to the ongoing recapitalisation process, I want to restate that the Nigerian banking industry remains resilient. Key financial soundness indicators remain within current regulatory thresholds.

“Customers are, therefore, encouraged to proceed with their transactions as usual, as the CBN is committed to ensuring the safety of the banking system.”

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