The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monday sacked the Board and top executives of Skye Bank Plc, a move that has triggered panic among the staff and customers of the new generation financial institution.
The bank had earlier disengaged 175 members of staff in the retrenchment wave that hit Nigerian banks of late, resulting in thousands of workers losing their jobs in the banking industry
While the reason for the sack of Skye Bank Board and top executive was not disclosed, sources quoted Reuters as saying that the action was in connection with capital adequacy deficiency.
The UNION also learnt that the bank has been battling with the challenge of mounting insider-related loans
The CBN had in January drawn attention of the bank to the mounting insider-related facilities and advised the management to ensure it brought the facilities within approved regulatory limit.
The UNION also learnt that the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Oguntayo, resigned ahead of CBN’s announcement of the sack of the bank’s leadership Monday.
It was gathered that he got wind of the impending CBN’s action and decided to take a more honourable path.
Oguntayo led Skye Bank to acquire the Mainstreet Bank (one of the nationalized banks) in 2014.
Skye bank has been holding talks with its shareholders about how to raise N30 billion to boost its capital base.
Its effort to raise capital through rights issue in 2015 did not sail through due to the prevailing negative market outlook.
The bank has been in talks with shareholders and new investors to raise 30 billion naira ($150 million) after it suspended plans for a rights issue last year due to weak market conditions.
It may be recalled that the CBN last year gave three commercial banks until June 2016 to recapitalise after they failed to hit a minimum capital adequacy rate of 10 percent.
Skye Bank was among the banks warned.
Skye Bank is designated as one of Nigeria’s “systemically important” banks due to the size of total sector deposits it holds following the acquisition of Mainstreet Bank in 2014, hence it has to hold a higher amount of capital.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association, Boniface Okezie, told The UNION that Skye Bank had been on the fast lane to financial trouble since what he described as the non-transparent manner it acquired the former Mainstreet Bank.
Okezie said that Skye Bank had been operating in a less transparent manner resulting in its inability to publish its 2015 annual report and hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM).
President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shehu Mallam Mikail, suspects that “some powerful individuals are after the bank”.
He told The UNION in a telephone chat that he suspected some foul play as some external forces had been after the bank for some time now.