Oceanic Bank Engages Shareholders On Future Plans
LAGOS, July 20, (THEWILL) - The Board and Management of Oceanic Bank International plc today held an interactive session with the Bank’s shareholders to chart a course for a solid future for the financial institution.
Speaking at the forum, Apostle Hayford Alile, Chairman, Oceanic Bank said the session represented the management’s commitment to ongoing dialogue with shareholders as it works towards repositioning the Bank for a brighter future.
Commending shareholders and customers for their support, Alile reported that Oceanic remained committed to ensuring better returns for all shareholders through excellent banking services provided along the lines of globally accepted best practices.
Also speaking, Mr. John Aboh, GMD/CEO, Oceanic Bank, reported that the Bank had effectively addressed the corporate governance and risk management deficiencies that led to the CBN intervention on August 14, 2010.
According to him, the Bank had since achieved stability, growing customer confidence as well as a return to profitability as of March 31, 2010.
"I am delighted to report that the worst is over and what we need to do now is to collaborate on adopting an effective recapitalization plan that will give the Bank a strong competitive edge in the Nigerian banking sector and beyond."
Aboh said management with the support of the Board had come up with a recapitalization plan that includes a combination of several options. These include: bad loan recoveries, provision writebacks from restructured credits, and sale of none performing loans to the recently established Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. (AMCON).
The Bank, according to him, is also considering the option of inflow of capital from a strategic investor with proven track record in good corporate governance practices as well as professional management in the banking sector. "We have received expression of interest from core investors desirous of buying into the Bank. The management will continue to carry all stakeholders along from the moment definitive discussions commence in this regard. The assurance from management is that ultimately which ever option the Bank adopts will provide a platform for a solid future for the Bank."
He explained that the eventual recapitalization of the Bank would translate to better returns for all stakeholders, better services for customers, growth and profitability of the business, job security for staff, and a solid future that would see Oceanic retaining its position as a reputable global brand in the finance sector.
Speaking on the Bank’s financials, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale, Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer, said as of June 2010, customer deposits had grown in excess of N600 billion, an indication of the acceptance of the brand in the sector. Adewale reported that the Bank had hit about N98 billion in loan recoveries while sustaining a profit run rate of approximately N2 billion monthly. She added that the Bank’s books now bear a true picture and fair picture of its state following rigorous analysis of the past records.
Expressing their appreciation for the quality of achievements made in the Bank so far, the shareholders commended the management for its commitment to transparency, good corporate governance and consistent shareholder interactions. They however, urged the management to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in determining the Bank’s future.
Dr. Faruk Umar, President, Association for the advancement of the Rights of the Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), said he was impressed by the Bank’s return to profitability, adding that it was indicative of the effectiveness of the recovery plan put in place by the management. "I want to commend the management and staff of the Bank for rising up to the occasion of repositioning the Bank and believe that Oceanic Bank has a bright future ahead as we all continue to work with a common goal. The shareholders are solidly behind the management and will continue to give good counsel when called upon."
Sir Sunny Nwosu, president, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) urged the Bank’s management to ensure that all options are critically examined to ensure an effective recapitalization plan is eventually adopted.
While commending the ongoing banking reforms, Brigadier Emmanuel Ikwue (rtd) Chairman, Coordinating Committee of the Zonal Shareholders Association, implored shareholders to support the Board and management in determining the preferred direction for the Bank’s recapitalization.
Responding to comments made by shareholders, Aboh assured that the Bank’s management remained committed to ongoing dialogue with shareholders and all stakeholders to ensure a solid future for the Bank.