Diamond Bank’s Uzoma Dozie, others risk CBN sanctions
Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s chairman, Prof Chris Ogbechie, and their counterparts in Union Bank, Heritage Bank, Unity Bank Plc, Keystone Bank, Suntrust Bank, Skye Bank and Providus Bank risked being removed if their accounts remained unpublished for up to 12 months.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had in its Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Policy Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2018/2019 released at the weekend, said banks were required, subject to the written approval of the CBN, to publish, not later than four months after the end of each financial year, their audited financial statements in a national daily newspaper printed and circulated in Nigeria.
The CBN, in the guidelines, said it would hold the board chairman and CEO of any defaulting bank directly responsible for any breach.
National Daily gathered that these 8 banks have failed to meet the April 30 deadline provided by Banks and other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) requiring banks to publish their audited accounts not later than four months after the end of each financial year.
On Tuesday, Diamond Bank in a request letter to the Nigerian Stock Exchange asked to be given more time, noting that its 2017 Audited Financial Statements [AFS] was still undergoing review and assured that this will be completed within May 2018 after which it will be transmitted to the Exchange and made available to the general public.
The last time Skye Bank, a quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), made public its audited accounts was in 2016 for the year ending 2015.
But it is uncertain if the CBN will wield the big stick on Skye Bank’s chairman, Muhammad K. Ahmad, and Managing Director, Tokunbo Abiru, given the insolvency issues that forced the central bank to sack the previous board of directors of Skye Bank in 2016, replacing it with the current turnaround board.
For Union, Diamond and Unity Banks, not only have they failed to comply with BOFIA requiring banks to publish their audited accounts within the first four months of the year, they also missed the same deadline stipulated by the NSE for quoted companies with December ending financial years.
When contacted, an official of the bank said its results had been submitted to the CBN and its approval was being awaited.
Unity Bank also notified the NSE that its results would be delayed, but did not specify a date when the bank’s results would be made public.
Union Bank, according to market watchers, was expected to announce its results on the NSE and publish its accounts on Monday, however, the bank missed the deadline.
When contacted, officials of Heritage, SunTrust and Providus said their audited results are ready but awaiting the approval of the CBN.
As for Keystone Bank, it is yet to make any categorical statement on where its 2017 and Q1 results are being delayed.