For violating its rules and regulations on granting of loans, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fined Access Bank Plc, the sum of N3million.
In a letter issued by the Banking Supervision Department of the apex bank to Access Bank, the CBN said the sanction was informed by the outcome of a risk based examination carried out on September 30, 2011.
The letter reads in part:” The bank contravened Section 20(1) of BOFIA, 1991, as amended by granting credit facilities to Westcom Group to the tune of N38.4 billion which was above its single obligor’s limit of N36.4 billion.
“Contrary to the CBN circular No BSD/9/2004 of 16th July, 2004 which stipulates that credits to directors and their related companies shall not exceed 10% of the paid-up capital without the CBN approval, the bank granted to its following directors; Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, Dr. Cosmos Maduka and Mr.Tunde Folawiyo, facilities in excess of ten percent of its paid-up capital without the necessary regulatory approval. Consequently, penalties totaling N3, 000, 000.00 is imposed on your bank for the above infractions.
Meanwhile, the apex bank, has equally announced the removal of Dr. Maduka from the board of the bank with immediate effect.
This is coming on the heels of a petition by two minor shareholders of Access Bank Plc, Messrs Godfrey Onyeka and Godfrey Obiamalu.
In a petition to the CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, dated January 21, 2013, the duo had accused the bank (Access Bank) of granting loans to Dr.Maduka and two other directors, without following due process.
The petition written by counsel to the aggrieved shareholders, Ime Asanga and Co, reads: “Our clients have become aware of a fraudulent credit facilities made by the bank to three of its directors-Dr. Cosmas Maduka through two of his companies namely: Coscharis Motors Ltd and Sure Comfort Limited here in Nigeria, to Mr. Gbenga Oyebode and Tunde Folawiyo. Our clients are desirous of protecting their investments in Access Bank and ensuring that returns on those investments are not unnecessarily depleted, especially when easier, cheaper and more readily available local remedies are provided for under BOFIA. Accordingly, we have our clients’ instructions to make this complaint to you with a prayer that you invoke the clear provisions of Section 20(6) of BOFIA to recover from the directors of the bank the full amount involved in the obnoxious credit facilities as well as cleanse its Board and Management by removing all the Directors.