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Bankers’ Committee halts job loss, silent on recall of sacked staff

The hopes of over 1,000 workers that recently lost their jobs in several banks were yesterday dashed following the decision of Bankers’ Committee which only ordered end to mass sack but could not talk on recall of sacked staff. Bankers’ Committee is an umbrella body of chief executive officers of deposit money banks (DMBs) and directors of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

|Rising at the end of the 329th meeting of the committee in Lagos on yesterday, Tokunbo Martins, Director, Banking Supervision of the CBN, said the impending retrenchment in the banking industry will no longer take place as managing directors of banks have resolved not to go ahead with any form of retrenchment.

“One of the things that we discussed was about impending retrenchment in the banking industry. We do receive so many complaints and people are expressing fears about this. We discussed it among the banks and the banks said they are committed to no retrenching and that they never had such plans. So whatever rumours that have been flying round about, there is no retrenchment that is happening or going to happen, it’s not true, that one we confirm today,” she said.

Martins also stated that contrary to reports in the media that some banks in the country are insolvent, banks have strong buffers to weather crisis.

“I can tell you that that report is false. That seven banks are undercapitalised is absolutely not true, now that is not to say that the banking sector is not having headwind but so it is every other jurisdiction, it is not strange.

“So NPLs at 11 percent that is not what we need to focus on. What we need to ask is if the banks have the capacity to absorb the problems arising from those loans. The answer is yes, they do. They have very strong capital buffers. The banks have very huge capacity to generate income. So apart from the capital buffer they already have, they also have the capacity to generate income to also absorb those losses if they do arrive.

“If you look at other jurisdictions that are going through the same thing we are going through, they are also experiencing the same thing. There are jurisdictions that have NPLs as high as 15 percent and 35 percent. Some countries in Europe have NPL as high as 18 percent. So I think we need to ignore it entirely”.