New Telegraph

February 23, 2024

S&P: CBN’s action underscores confidence in Firstbank’s team

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s intervention in the boardroom crisis in First Bank Group, which resulted in the reinstatement of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan as Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and re-appointment of other executive directors, underscores the apex bank’s confidence in the existing management team to continue the turnaround of the Tier 1 lender, S&P Global Ratings has said.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, the agency said that the CBN’s ordered board changes in First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and FBN Holdings “address the banking group’s corporate governance challenges and ensure the Nigerian banking sector’s financial stability.” It further stated that the apex bank’s action, “while disruptive in the near-term, may signal a more direct and possibly decisive supervisory approach to alleged failings in the management and governance of regulated institutions.”

S&P Global Ratings, however, said: “Our ratings on FBN and other Nigerian banks remain constrained by shortcomings in corporate governance and transparency, among other factors.” Citing the ouster of Adeduntan without regulatory approval, CBN recently dissolved and reconstituted the boards of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and FBN Holdings and also reinstated the FBN CEO. According to S&P Global Ratings, “Adeduntan’s reinstatement and the re-appointment of the other executive directors underscores CBN’s confidence in the existing management team to continue the turnaround of the third-largest banking group in Nigeria, which has total assets of N 7.7 trillion.

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