The CBN recently replaced the entire boards of FBN and FBNH, and reinstated the former executive directors and CEO, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan.
The CBN had also requested FBN to unwind certain exposures and divest from its participation in a non-permissible company, also pointing to potential corporate governance lapses at the bank.
It stated: “However, Dr. Adeduntan’s reinstatement and the re-appointment of the other executive directors underscores the CBN’s confidence in the existing management team to continue the turnaround of the third-largest banking group in Nigeria, which has total assets of Nigerian N7.7 trillion.
“We are of the view that the CBN’s historical approach has been more reactive than proactive, as illustrated by the Skye Bank episode. That said, recent actions, while disruptive in the near-term, may signal a more direct and possibly decisive supervisory approach to alleged failings in the management and governance of regulated institutions.”
It noted that FBN’s overall credit profile had gradually stabilised since 2016, with a capital adequacy ratio of 17 percent in 2020, as against a 15 percent minimum requirement.
Similarly, the bank’s asset quality indicators improved significantly, with Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) reducing to 7.7 percent in 2020, from 20-25 percent since 2016