Shareholders seek FG’s intervention in Stanbic-FRC face-off

Shareholders seek FG’s intervention in Stanbic-FRC face-off

Thursday, October 29, 2015 9:09 am

StanbicIBTC branch in Lafia

StanbicIBTC branch in Lafia

Shareholders of Stanbic IBTC on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to intervene in the altercation between the bank and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the interest of the banking sector.

The shareholders under the aegis of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) made the call at a press conference in Lagos.

Speaking on behalf of the shareholders, Mr Boniface Okezie, PSAN President, urged government to look into the activities of FRC to forestall more damage to the operations of businesses and the larger economy.

Okezie said that the altercation did not augur well for the growth of the banking sector and overall economy.

Okezie said that the shareholders were “shocked and disappointed that a government parastatal would be reckless and tactless in its dealings with a respected corporate body”.

Mrs Sola David-Borha, MD of Stanbic IBTC

Mrs Sola David-Borha, MD of Stanbic IBTC

He said that FRC needed to recognise that in an unsophisticated capital market reckless and defective proclamations could potentially affect share price and cause investors unwarranted losses.

“We have recorded losses in our share price over the last two days on account of the misguided actions of the FRC,” Okezie said.

They were reacting to FRC’s suspension of the registration of four directors of Stanbic IBTC and that of its audit engagement partner, KPMG.

FRC had requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigate Stanbic IBTC and KPMG Professional Services for financial misstatements.

The organisation in  a report on Oct. 26 also suspended the registration of four directors of Stanbic IBTC and that of its audit engagement partner, KPMG, until KPMG’s innocence is ascertained.

The four directors suspended were Atedo Peterside, Sola David-Borha, Arthur Oginga and Dare Owei.

The bank was alleged to have misstated its financial reports for the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year and ceded its banking application rights to Standard Bank of South Africa against the directives of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

According to FRC, “the schedules supplied to the council by Stanbic IBTC revealed that the total fee paid to KPMG for non-audit services was inconsistent with what was disclosed in the financial statements for the years under review.”

The bank was also alleged to have flouted a number of financial regulations, including a regular flouting of CBN regulations.

Okezie said that shareholders were shocked by the actions of the FRC which failed to follow procedure as outlined in the regulations.

He added that the role of the FRC “is to help enhance the quality of financial reporting in Nigeria” adding that the “FRC is not a regulator of banks neither is it a regulator of the capital market”.

Reacting to the issue, Mr Bolaji Balogun, Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham, called on regulators to be very careful in management of regulatory issues.

“The biggest challenge in the market is attracting investment. Regulators should deal with issues in a manner that it will not create fear or tension.

“Regulators should reflect on how to handle issues much better going forward because confidence is the main thing when it comes to investment,” Balogun said.

He said that regulators utterances on MTN and Stanbic Bank issues were a threat to investor confidence.

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