These are bad times for United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and First Bank Limited as both were sanctioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the tune of N2.9 billion and N1.8 billion respectively for allegedly violating the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government.
For First Bank, its shares nosedived to 10-year low as a result of the N1.88 billion sanction by the CBN. The bank’s shares fell by 3.9% to N5 in trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), its lowest fall since April 2005.
President Muhammadu Buhari had given banks a deadline of September 15, 2015 to comply with the TSA policy, which was mooted to stem fraudulent trading on government revenue by banks in the country.
In a swift reaction to the N1.88 billion fine, Mr. Tijjani Borodo, Secretary of FBN Holdings Plc issued a statement thus: “The management of First Bank is still engaging in conversations with the Central Bank of Nigeria on this regulatory decision.”
Market analysts say the inability of the bank to challenge or argue the N1.88 billion sanction against it by the CBN simply means that First Bank was guilty as charged.
The N1.88 billion fine against First Bank came just days after the bank reported 9.7% decline in third-quarter 2015 profit, while its index crashed by 38% in 2015 as against Nigeria’s main index of 16% and 14% drop in the banking industry index.