CBN Quizes First Bank Over Appointment Of New MD

First Bank
  • First Bank on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gbenga Shobo as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Director

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has queried the Board of the First Bank of Nigeria Plc for removing Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, without regulatory approval.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the query is contained in a letter dated April 28, 2021 and signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa.

In the letter which was addressed to the bank’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika, Mustafa said that the action was taken without due consultations with the regulatory authorities, especially given the systemic importance of the commercial bank.

Read also: First Bank Appoints New MD

CBN Quizes First Bank Over Appointment Of New MD
Gbenga Shobo

He noted that Adeduntan’s tenure has yet to expire.

“The CBN was not made aware of any report from the board indicting the managing director of any wrongdoing or misconduct; there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.

“We are particularly concerned because the action is coming at a time the CBN has provided various regulatory forbearances and liquidity support to reposition the bank, which has enhanced its asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios amongst other prudential indicators.

“It is also curious to observe that the sudden removal of the MD/CEO was done about eight months to the expiration of his second tenure which is due on Dec. 31, 2021,” he added.

Mustafa warned that the removal of an incumbent MD/CEO of a systemically important bank was not good.

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“The removal of a sitting MD/CEO of a systemically important bank that has been under regulatory forbearance for five to six years without prior consultation and justifiable basis has dire implications for the bank and also portends significant risks to the stability of the financial system.

“In light of the foregoing, you are required to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against the board for hastily removing the MD/CEO and failing to give prior notice to the CBN before announcing the management change in the media.

“In the meantime, you are directed to desist forthwith from making any further public/media comments on the matter. Your comprehensive response on the foregoing should reach the Director, Banking Supervision Department, on or before 5p.m. on April 29, 2021,” the letter read.

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