CBN Denies Plan to Nationalise Unity Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday described as “fake news,” a media report that it was considering nationalising Unity Bank Plc.

CBN’s spokesman, Osita Nwanisobi, in a statement advised customers and other stakeholders of the bank to disregard the report, describing it as the handiwork of mischief makers.

He said: “The report is fake news. There is iota of truth in it.”

He added that the public should disregard such news.

The report had claimed that the apex bank’s target examination of Unity Bank showed that the Tier 2 lender is in ,”grave financial condition”, with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Non- Performing Loans (NPL) ratio that breach prudential standards.

However, analysts note that just last month, the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee ( MPC) noted in the communiqué it issued at the end of its meeting that the banking industry is in good health

According to the communique: “the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) both remained above their prudential limits at 15.8 and 38.9 per cent, respectively. The Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) at 5.89 per cent in April 2021, showed progressive improvement compared with 6.6 per cent in April 2020.”

Unity Bank’s audited full year 2020 results showed improved performance in key parameters. For instance, the Bank’s gross loans portfolio increased by 92.9 per cent to N206.2 billion in 2020 from N106.9 billion in 2019.

The bank’s total assets rose by 67.90 per cent when compared with N293.05 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2019.

Also, the lender posted gross earnings of N42.71 billion compared with N44.59 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2019. Its customer deposit portfolio grew by 34.4 per cent to N356.62 billion in 2020, up from N257.69 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019.

Profit after tax stood at N2.09 billion, while profit before tax was N2.22 billion during the year under review. Its net operating income rose to N25.46 billion from N23.21 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 9.71 per cent increase.


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