CBN to seek information on staff competency from banks soon, Says Sanusi

By The Citizen

Apparently worried by the skill gap, lack of indepth knowledge of core banking functions and poor understanding of basic banking operations; poor understanding of banking regulations and poor risk management and corporate governance practices, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would soon send out questionnaires to banks for information on their staff competency.

.Speaking at the annual risk management conference in Lagos, the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said banks should start assessing their staff in key roles, especially risk managers, auditors, compliance officers, treasurers, chief finance officers and others in controlled functions in line with the CBN's competency framework.

The framework shows that the recent global financial crisis exposed the inadequacy of skills and the dearth of executive capacity in the banking industry.

He advised the banks to begin to think of hiring new managers should the current ones fall below the CBN requirement. The CBN boss said this has become exigent following the regulator's commitment to sustain the stability of Nigeria financial system.

He said there is need to assess skills, qualifications, experience and competencies of staff currently occupying controlled functions in banks. This, in essence, implies that continuous strengthening of intellectual resources and capabilities must be undertaken to create a pool of talented and high calibre professionals in the banking industry.

In a circular tagged: 'Assessment of competencies in the Nigerian banking industry' signed by Y.B Duniya for Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, the CBN said the exercise would enable the Bankers' Committee identify at the preliminary stages, gaps that would impede the effective implementation of the Competency Framework for the banking industry being appraised by the apex bank.

It said the list of controlled functions was not exhaustive as other important roles and responsibilities may be added.

The framework is expected to address the competency challenges in the industry, explore growth opportunities and facilitate improvement in the quality of human capital.

'Under the framework, successful banks will be those that distinguish themselves by according high priority to continuous enhancement of human capital and lifelong learning,' the apex bank had said.

The apex bank also said it will maintain a central database for approved persons. Banks are expected to update the database with details of approved persons and access it as part of their due diligence before the appointment of such persons.

The framework leverages on the practices in other jurisdictions, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Dubai, which provide a useful guide and template for the banking industry.