Skyebank: ASSBIFI advise customers to continue business

By Eberechi Obinagwam

The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has advised customers of the defunct Skyebank, now Polaris bank, to continue to do business with the bank as there is no cause for alarm.

  Before the revocation of the operating license of Skyebank, the Federal Government through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) had injected N786 billion in it.

  The new established Polaris bank is to take over the assets, deposits and certain liabilities of the defunct Skyebank as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria. 

  ASSBIFI National President, Oyinkan Olasanoye, while addressing newsmen on the birth of Polaris Bank, assured the customers that Polaris bank already has a clean balance sheet as it carries no toxic assets in its new balance sheet and it is well positioned to meet its obligations to all its numerous customers.

  She said as strategic partner in the banking sector, they will study the purchase and assumption agreement that established the bank and engage the management in concrete discussions aimed at ensuring the realisation of its vision, goals and objectives.

  She said that the move was called a Bridge Bank Arrangement and that the implication was that Skyebank was demised and Polaris Bank even though it's taking over all assets, deposits and certain liabilities of the defunct Skyebank is fully owned by government.

  “This courageous move by CBN at ensuring the soundness and efficiency of our banking system is applauded by us and therefore does not call for any panicky measures by the public, numerous customers and staff of the bank. Skyebank staff are being retained; there is no drop of salary or position. It is comfortable with us," she stated.

  Following also to the CBN directives to begin the process of sales of Polaris bank immediately, she said: "It is our hope that this time around, the process will be transparent and only credible investors will be considered.

  "The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria must be allowed to undertake the sale exercise without undue interference from greedy party patrons and ensure that the exercise does not go the way of Mainstreet Bank Ltd which was clandestinely sold to the defunct Skyebank,” she said.

   For issues concerning the tier based solvency capital of insurance companies, she said that they were not against restructuring of the insurance companies but concerned about the time frame needed for compliance looking at the  recession in the country and the forthcoming general election.

  "NAICOM's position that the insurance companies do not need to inject new capital is not realistic; all insurance companies should be given equal opportunity and enough time to determine the tier they wish to operate.

  "We appeal that NAICOM should do more in the area of enforcement of existing policies on compulsory insurance to enable the sector contribute more appropriately to the national GDP," Oyinkan stated.

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