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Central Bank of Nigeria Introduces New Minimum Capital Requirements for Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled a set of new minimum capital requirements aimed at strengthening the country’s banking sector. This move follows the recent call by the CBN for Nigerian banks to enhance their capital bases to ensure greater stability and resilience in the face of economic challenges.

Under the revised guidelines announced on March 28, 2024, commercial banks with international authorization are now required to maintain a minimum capital base of N500 billion. Similarly, banks with national authorization must maintain a minimum capital base of N200 billion, while those with regional authorization face a requirement of N50 billion. Merchant banks are also mandated to maintain a minimum capital of N50 billion, with non-interest banks at the national and regional levels required to maintain minimum capital levels of N20 billion and N10 billion, respectively.

Banks have been given a timeline of 24 months, starting from April 1, 2024, to comply with these new capital requirements. They are encouraged to explore various avenues such as private placements, rights issues, mergers and acquisitions, and license adjustments to meet the stipulated capital thresholds.

Emphasizing the importance of adherence, a circular issued by the CBN’s Financial Policy and Regulation Department director, Mr. Haruna Mustafa, underscores that banks failing to meet the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) requirements will be required to inject fresh capital to rectify their positions.

For new banking applicants, the CBN has set the minimum capital requirement in effect from April 1, 2024. Pending applications will be processed, with promoters required to bridge the gap between deposited capital and the new requirement by March 31, 2026.

To ensure transparency and compliance, all banks are required to submit detailed implementation plans by April 30, 2024. The CBN has committed to monitoring and enforcing compliance within the specified timeline, underscoring its commitment to fostering a resilient and dynamic banking sector amidst evolving economic dynamics.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

29th March, 2024

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