CBN faults suspension of Standard IBTC directors

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By OdunewuSegun

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has waded into the crisis involving Stanbic IBTC Holdings and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), listing a series of procedural infractions committed by the regulator.

In a statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, signed by its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in four of the five allegations of infraction leveled against Stanbic IBTC, CBN said it could not spot any wrongdoing.

Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that in the only case where it agreed that Stanbic erred, the error did not in any way affects the bank’s income or expenditure, such as would have caused material “missreprentation of the financials”.

On legal issues, CBN expressed concern about the “apparent failure” of FRC to “follow due process as laid down by its own FRC Act and Regulations, in arriving at the Regulatory Decision”. After listing a series of regulatory breaches made by the council, CBN said FRC lacked the “authority” for suspension “as was done in this case”.

It therefore declined the request of FRC to take disciplinary action against the bank. “Indeed, the CBN does not see any reason to advise/compel SIBTCH to obey the sanctions meted to it by the FRC,” read Emefiele’s letter.

“Contrary to the allegation of the FRC that Stanbic IBTC (SIBTC) did not obtain approval from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for the payment of affiliate software license, our review revealed that the bank actually obtained the necessary approval from NOTAP to pay affiliate software license from the Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA), for a period of three years covering June 1st 2012 to 30th May 2015. The remittance from June to date is still awaiting approval from NOTAP,’’Emefiele wrote to the Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Council.

On October 26, FRC had urged CBN and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate Stanbic IBTC and KPMG Professional Services for “financial misstatements”. It also suspended the registration of four directors of Stanbic IBTC – AtedoPeterside, Sola David-Borha, Arthur Oginga and Dare Owei – and that of its audit engagement partner, KPMG Professional Services.

According to the Council, the bank misstated its financial reports for the 2013-2014 fiscal years and ceded its banking application rights to Standard Bank of South Africa against the directives of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

 

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