Africa

Nigeria’s central bank sacks entire board of First Bank of Nigeria

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A view shows Nigeria's Central Bank headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria November 22, 2020. Picture taken November 22, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

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ABUJA, April 29 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank on Thursday sacked the entire board of First Bank of Nigeria and appointed new directors, the regulator said in a statement, citing the previous board’s “sweeping changes” without alerting regulatory authorities.

First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) did not respond to calls seeking comment.

The bank had been in "grave financial condition" when the regulator become involved in its management "to maintain financial stability" in 2016, giving it authority over FBN's operations, the central bank said.

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The sacking of the board on Thursday was done "in order to preserve stability of the bank, so as to protect minority shareholders and depositors," said the regulator.

"The actions being taken are meant to strengthen the bank and position it as a banking industry giant," it said.

Nigeria's central bank has powers to remove bank executives and used them during the 2008/2009 global financial crisis when it sacked nine CEOs at banks that were under-capitalised.

The regulator in 2016 sacked top executives of Skye Bank over capital adequacy issues, having in 2015 given three commercial banks time to recapitalise after they failed to hit a minimum capital adequacy rate of 10%.

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Reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja; Writing by Paul Carsten

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