In a significant move, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken decisive steps to address regulatory non-compliance and corporate governance issues within the banking sector.
The dissolution of boards and management at Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank, and Union Bank has paved the way for the appointment of new CEOs and Executive Directors.
The Newly Appointed CEOs of Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank, and Union Bank
Union Bank: Yetunde Oni
Union Bank will see a change in leadership, with Yetunde Oni, former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Sierra Leone, taking the helm as the new CEO. Mannir Ubali Ringim will serve as the Executive Director, reinforcing the bank’s leadership structure.
Keystone Bank: Hassan Imam
Hassan Imam, an Executive Director from the North Directorate of Fidelity Bank, has been appointed as the new CEO of Keystone Bank. Joining him in a crucial role is Chioma A. Mang, who takes on the position of Executive Director.
Polaris Bank: Lawal Mudathir Omokayode Akintola
Polaris Bank welcomes Lawal Mudathir Omokayode Akintola as its new CEO, a director at Sage Grey Finance Limited. Chris Onyeka Ofikulu will support him in the capacity of Executive Director, contributing to the bank’s renewed leadership framework.
Statement from The CBN, Read:
“Following the dissolution of the Board and Management of Union Bank, Keystone Bank and Polaris Bank on Wednesday, January 10, the CBN has appointed new executives to oversee the affairs of the banks;
“Union Bank: Yetunde Oni – Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Mannir Ubali Ringim – Executive Director
“Keystone Bank: Hassan Imam – Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Chioma A. Mang – Executive Director
“Polaris Bank: Lawal Mudathir Omokayode Akintola – Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Chris Onyeka Ofikulu – Executive Director
“The appointments take immediate effect,” the statement added.Statement from The CBN on the newly appointed CEOs of Keystone Bank, Polaris Bank, and Union Bank
Immediate Implementation of Changes
These leadership changes are not merely announced but are set to take immediate effect.
The Central Bank’s swift response underscores its commitment to addressing issues threatening financial stability and ensuring robust corporate governance within the Nigerian banking sector.
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On Wednesday night, the central bank took a significant step by removing the entire boards of four banks. This move was in response to serious violations of financial regulations, including regulatory noncompliance, corporate governance failure, and activities that jeopardized financial stability.
The central bank, in its supervisory role, emphasized that dissolving the boards became necessary due to the banks’ failure to comply with the provisions of the Financial Institutions Act, 2020.
This decision came after a thorough investigation led by Jim Obazee, the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu in July 2023 to examine the operations of the CBN and other relevant institutions.
The investigative report accused Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the apex bank, of acquiring banks through proxies.
Specifically, it pointed out that Emefiele used proxies to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria for Titan Trust Bank Limited and Keystone Bank without providing evidence of payment.
This action by the central bank reflects a response to serious financial misconduct, with the dissolution of the boards seen as a necessary step to uphold financial regulations and stability.