The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved five new commercial banks, a banking source have confirmed.
The apex bank’s move is being driven by the need to expand the West African country’s investment and banking industry through new entrants by bringing the over 50 million unbanked and under-banked Nigerians on board.
Although the approved names and full details of the new banks and the CBN have not officially been made public, their operations are expected to commence by the second half of the year 2019.
While details are still sketchy at the time of filing this report, former Zenith’s and Access Bank’s Executive Director, Elias Eboigbe Igbinakenzua is said to be spearheading one of the new banks – “Globus” which the banking source claims may open operations by May 2nd.
A former Heritage Bank Executive Director is also said to be the manager to the second bank, ‘Titan trust Bank’, which reportedly has a former CBN Deputy Governor as its Chairman.
The third is said to be owned by an Indian, the former owner of Chi Limited who recently sold a majority stake of his company to Coca Cola Nigeria.
The CBN’s strategy is to target major players in Nigeria’s economic space such as large Indian and Lebanese clients with investments in Nigeria especially in the Manufacturing and other sectors, the source explained.
The additional three banks remain anonymous, however they would be diverse stakeholders in the micro-finance, merchant and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the source added.
Financial experts have argued that despite several major commercial banks in the country and microfinance banks running at over 100 in number, financial presence in the country remains quite low as the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) currently holds key stakes in two national banks in the country.
Currently, Nigeria’s top tier 1 banks are FBN Holdings, UBA, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank Plc. Their dominance continues to grow in deposit size, branch spread and loan issuance.
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