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Jaiz Bank posts N636.7 million Q1 PBT

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Despite the COVID-19 headwinds, non-interest (Islamic) bank, Jaiz Bank Plc, has posted a Profit Before Tax growth of 33.63 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, translating to N636.7 million, when compared to what was realized in the corresponding period of 2019 (N476.5 million).

Key excerpts from its report and accounts for the period ended March 31, 2020, shows that the bank’s gross income rose by 43.14 per cent to N4.182 billion as against N2.921 billion recorded in the same period of 2019.

The balance sheet size of the bank under review grew by 15.51 per cent as total assets rose to N193.204 billion compared with the 2019 audited financial position of N167.27 billion.

The first-quarter results are a demonstration of the feats achieved at the end of the bank’s financial results for 2019, where it declared a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N2.4 billion, representing a huge leap of 193 per cent from N834.4 million realised in the corresponding period of 2018.

Commenting on the report, the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, said that the feats were achieved as a result of the bank’s deliberate policy to focus on building a culture of ethics and taking the necessary decisions to align its perspective with client expectations.

He said the result is a proof of the added value of the management’s continuous strive towards making the bank the preferred institution for all stakeholders which was supported by the outcome of the bank’s maiden external credit rating conducted by the International Islamic Rating Agency.

Usman said: ‘An investment-grade rating of A+ (short term) was assigned to the Bank, which is a resounding corroboration of the Bank’s sound financial health. In the years ahead, we shall continue to deepen our engagement with the MSME, agri-businesses across all value chains and focus on unserved markets and the financially excluded segments of our society. This we believe within the current context of our society shall create an institution that will pass the test of time.’

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Banks to debit debtors accounts directly

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines on Global Standing Instruction (GSI) that would enable banks to debit the account of loan defaulters without recourse to the account holders.

The CBN released the guidelines in Abuja on Monday.

According to the guidelines, the GSI will “serve as a last resort by a Creditor bank, without recourse to the Borrower, to recover past-due obligations.

The GSI will specifically target Principal and Accrued Interest only while “excluding any Penal Charges from a defaulting Borrower through a direct set-off from deposits/investments held in the Borrower’s qualifying bank accounts with participating financial institutions.”

The objectives of GSI, the CBN said, include facilitating an improved credit repayment culture; reducing Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in the banking industry; and watch-listing consistent loan defaulters.

The types of accounts that qualify for GSI are Individual Savings Accounts; Individual Current Accounts; Individual Domiciliary Accounts; Investment/Deposit Accounts (Naira and Foreign Currency); and Electronic Wallets.

Henceforth, bank debtors are expected to execute a GSI mandate in hard copy or digital form; ensure that the terms and conditions of the mandate are clearly understood before execution; and ensure that all qualifying accounts are linked to his/her BVN.

According to the CBN: “In the event that a borrower’s qualifying account is not linked to his/her BVN, such BVN shall be Watch-Listed.”

The Creditor Bank, on its part, will ensure that borrowers are properly educated about the GSI mandate and its implications; and enshrine same in their loan application process.

Also, the banks are expected to “review and validate the GSI mandate instrument prior to loan disbursement.”

The banks are to indemnify Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) and other Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) from all liabilities that may arise from inappropriate use of the GSI infrastructure.

They are to also “retain copies of physical or digital version of the executed GSI mandate and to provide same when required. The banks are to ensure that the GSI Trigger Amount is only for outstanding Principal Amount and Accrued Interest (excluding ANY Penal Charges).”

The banks were ordered to comply with CBN’s Prudential Guidelines as it applies to the classification of loans; and as a risk management tool, the MD/CEO of each PFI “shall routinely update the Board of Directors on the GSI process as it relates to the frequency of use and amounts recovered or released.”

The guidelines note that PFI’s MD/CEO are not absolved of the overall responsibility over activities of the bank.

“Any loan for forbearance review must show evidence of GSI trigger otherwise full provisioning would be required (except where there are CBN permitted waivers),” the guidelines stated.

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Ecobank extends agric loan to 70,000 farmers

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Ecobank Nigeria has restated its commitment to the agricultural sector and is supporting over 70,000 farmers with special loans to increase their capacity and yields during this planting season.

This is one of the bank’s initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in the sector and is in support of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers programmes for the 2020 wet season with the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN)

Head, Agribusiness, Ecobank Nigeria, Mojisola Oguntoyinbo, announced this in Lagos while responding to media enquiries on the participation of the bank in the CBN scheme.

According to her, the initiative spreads across the 36 states and is one of the several concerted efforts on the part of the bank to support the government to create an ecosystem that gives smallholder farmers access to funding and the required support to increase food production in the country.

She noted that the scheme is designed to connect smallholder farmers with processors and off-takers within the agriculture value chain.

“We are creating opportunities in the agric sector that will help many smallholder farmers expand their business and become worthy employers of labour by adopting modern farming techniques for the betterment of our economy.

We are in strategic partnership with NIRSAL and some other developmental institutions to achieve our purpose.  We are also partnering the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in all its intervention schemes and programmes aimed at developing the sector.

Our relationships are generating positive activities across the entire agric value chain,” she said.

Ecobank has been actively leveraging entrepreneurship as a strategy to tackle poverty and growing unemployment, through the creation of relevant platforms.

One of such platforms is the Ecobank Xpress Point, the bank’s agency banking proposition which enables agents to carry out financial transactions on behalf of Ecobank and earn commission on transactions processed.

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Bitcoin ATM machine unveiled in Lagos

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A Bitcoin ATM that will curb money laundering via Cryptocurrency has been unveiled in Lagos.

Mr Adekunle Daniel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Blockstale, made this known on Friday, at a news conference in Lagos tagged: “The Impacts of CryptoCurrency (BITCOIN) on Traders and The Global Economy During this Pandemic Season and Thereafter.”

Blockstale is a principal developer and distributor of intuitive blockchain software and hardware components in Nigeria.

Through Blockstale, Nigeria’s first Bitcoin ATM was deployed on Jan. 12, and there are five now in Nigeria to be installed at Ajah, Lekki, Trade Fair and in Ogun.

The company’s mission is to distribute, facilitate and enhance Bitcoin ATM industry in Africa, by providing seamless and creative solutions, taking the industry beyond the usual trading (buy/sell/exchange) by offering creativities and providing additional income streams to their partners.

Daniel said: “Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates independently across national boundaries and sectors, which could be used as a form of trade, investment, payment and settlement.

“If anyone wants to send one thousand dollars to someone in the U.S, it would take three to five days for a wire transfer to come through, and it would attract around 50.00 dollars charges.

“Now with Bitcoin, one can send money instantly, and it would cost pennies.”

He said that with a remarkable number of different currencies, Bitcoin had eliminated the multiple charges and could save a lot of resources and cut unnecessary spending.

Daniel said that with the emergence of this innovation, Nigeria ranks the eighth country to experience the evolution of the Bitcoin ATM.

“This had brought global recognition to the country and continent at large,” he said.

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