CBN stops mass retrenchment in banks
– The CBN director, banking supervision, Tokunbo Martins, says banks are now committed to not retrenching their staff henceforth
– Martins calls on the bank workers to dismiss whatever rumours flying around about mass retrenchment
– She also dismisses the report published by the Arqaam Capital that some Nigerian banks are in crisis
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured that bank workers who had been living in fears over the possibility of losing their jobs that their jobs are no longer under threat.
The CBN director, banking supervision, Tokunbo Martins gave the assurance on Wednesday, October 12, after the bankers committee meeting in Lagos, the Nation reports.
Martins said following the meeting, banks were now committed to not retrenching their staff (workers) going forward.
She called on the bank workers to dismiss whatever rumours are flying around about mass retrenchment, adding that those rumours were untrue.
“One of the things we discussed was about the impending retrenchment in the banking industry. So, we understand that many bank workers are expressing fears about possible retrenchment in the industry. We discussed and the banks are now committed to not retrenching their staff (workers) going forward. So, whatever rumours are flying around about that mass retrenchment is happening or not happening, that is not true,” Martins said.
Although Martins admitted that Nigeria’s banks are facing economic challenges, she however assured the banking public that Nigeria’s financial sector is safe and sound.
She said the lenders “have strong capital buffers to weather the crisis.”
She also dismissed the report published by the Arqaam Capital insisting that some Nigerian banks are in crisis.
Martins said: “Yes there was discussion around the stability of the banking sector. But even without the discussion, as Director Banking Supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, I can tell you that the report is false. The banks are adequately capitalized, so the report is not true. That does not mean that the banking sector is not feeling the economic headwinds. The headwinds are also in every other jurisdictions. It is not strange. So, non-performing loans at 11.7 per cent is not what we should focus on.”
She said the banks have the capacity to absorb whatever losses that may arise from the level of non-performing loans in the industry.
“But the fact is do the banks have the capacity to absorb any further loses that would arise? The answer is that they do. They have very strong capital buffers. Another thing that is important is does the banks have the capacity to generate huge income to absorb those loses,” she said.
“The underlying assets of the banks are still there, and they are good. So, I think you should totally dispel or ignore that type of story. It should be expected to have non-performing loans (NPLs). It is not the reason why any jurisdiction should be demonized. There are other jurisdictions that have NPLs as high as 15 per cent, 35 per cent and so on.”
Meanwhile, Senior lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Deposit Money Banks over loans allegedly granted them by former governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Falana, according to The Punch, said it was important to know if the huge sum had been paid back to the treasury.
Speaking at a dinner organised by the executives of the Senior Staff Club of the University of Ibadan in honour of members recently appointed by the federal government, the lawyer said the loans were given between 2006 and 2011.