For the first time in 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has wielded the big stick and debited Zenith Bank Plc, Providus Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited and 11 other banks N356.1billion for failing to meet its 27.5 per cent Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) obligation.
The fresh debit, which THISDAY reliably gathered occurred last Friday, has left many stakeholders in the banking very upset as the apex bank recently suspended debiting banks for not meeting the requirement.
According to data obtained by THISDAY, Zenith Bank and Providus Bank were the most hit while Fidelity Bank Plc was the least debited bank by the CBN.
A breakdown showed that Zenith Bank and Providus were debited N170 billion, N40 billion respectively. Others are: FCMB N39 billion, First Bank of Nigeria Limited N27 billion, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc N20 billion and Citibank N12 billion.
Stanbic IBTC bank, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Polaris Banks were debited N10 billion each, Keystone Bank was debited N6 billion, Ecobank Nigeria N5 billion, Sterling Bank Plc, N3.6 billion, Fidelity Bank N2 billion and Nova merchant bank N 1.5 billion.
The last time CBN debited 16 banks and two merchant banks N175 billion was mid-December 2021.
CBN data showed that Zenith bank was the most debited bank on November 17, 2021, followed by Access Bank Plc and United bank for Africa Plc (UBA).
The breakdown of some affected banks revealed that, Zenith bank-N90 billion, Access bank-N25 billion, Unity Bank Plc- N500 million, FCMB Limited- N5 billion, and Stanbic Bank- N4 billion, Polaris- N3billion and UBA- N25billion.
The CBN had on December 8, 2021 debited seven banks and two merchant banks a sum of N29.6 billion.
Analysts believe cash reserves are historically between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of LCY deposits.
Analysts at Agusto & Co. In a report titled, “Economic outlook for 2022. Our storyline”, explained that: “At the end of 2021, mandatory CRR of banks stood at about 35 per cent of LCY deposits.
Historically, cash reserves were between five per cent and 10 per cent of LCY deposits. In Ghana and Kenya, there are currently eight per cent and 4.25 per cent of LCY deposits respectively.“In addition to these mandatory CRR, Nigerian banks hold “special bills” , issued by the CBN, that bear interest at 0.5 per cent per annum. These “special bills” are not easily convertible into cash and are, in substance, interest bearing […]