October 11, 2018/Punch
Feyisayo Popoola with agency report
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has said it wants a quick sale of Polaris Bank, the lender created to take over the assets and liabilities of the failed Skye Bank Plc.
The Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, in an interview with Bloomberg in Lagos, said the divestment would be quick as the agency had met with the management of Polaris Bank and would sell the business in less than two years.
He said AMCON had set a 2023 deadline for dissolving the operations of Polaris Bank, even as it was still struggling to recover non-performing loans.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had last month revoked the licence of Skye Bank for failing to meet capital and liquidity requirements, and asked AMCON to capitalise Polaris Bank with N786bn ($2.2bn).
Kuru said the authorities intervened in the Skye Bank matter because of a lot of systemic issues, including saving more than 5,000 jobs and almost N1tn in deposits.
He stated, “It is a very big bank and if you allow anything to happen to it, it will affect some other financial institutions. AMCON has no plans to establish another rescue package for the country’s banks.
“The agency will advertise for financial advisers for the sale of Polaris Bank after an investigation into the cause of its capital and liquidity challenges. We will prosecute individuals suspected to have contributed to the bank’s collapse with a view to recovering any bad loans linked to them.”
Kuru added that because a lot of money had been invested in the bank, people would be held responsible if AMCON found out that something wrong had been done.