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More confusion as Polaris Bank MD differ with AMCON on tenure, sale

Barely one week after the managing director of defunct Skye Bank, now Polaris Bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru said in Ibadan that his board is working on the 2016 template given to them by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to turnaround the bank into top five financial institutions in five years, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it wants a quick sale of Polaris Bank in less than two years.
Abiru noted that his management will continue to implement the July 2016 regulatory intervention to include entrenching sound corporate governance and risk management practices and transforming Polaris into full fledged retail and commercial bank with strong digital backing.
Industry analysts have continued to query what informed the retaining of a board that could not turnaround the bank with N100bn since 2016 and the reason behind another record recapitalization of N786bn upon keeping the same board that apparently failed to revive the bank with N100bn since July 2016.
In an interview at the NSE/Bloomberg summit in Lagos, AMCON boss, Ahmed Kuru said his agency 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.
According to him, “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.”