A media allegation that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was considering nationalizing Unity Bank Plc was dismissed as “fake news” by the CBN yesterday.
In a statement, CBN spokesman Osita Nwanisobi advised customers and other stakeholders to disregard the report, describing it as the work of swindlers.
“The report is fake news,” he remarked. It contains an iota of truth.”
He went on to say that such information should be ignored by the general population.
According to the report, the apex bank’s targeted investigation of Unity Bank revealed that the Tier 2 lender is in “grave financial condition,” with CAR and NPL ratios that violate prudential criteria.
Analysts point out, however, that the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee ( MPC) just last month stated in a communiqué issued at the conclusion of its meeting that the banking system is in good shape.
The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Liquidity Ratio (LR) both remained above their prudential limits at 15.8 and 38.9%, respectively, according to the communique. Non-Performing Loans (NPLs), which stood at 5.89 percent in April 2021 compared to 6.6 percent in April 2020, showed steady improvement.”
The audited full-year 2020 results from Unity Bank revealed better performance in key metrics. The Bank’s gross loan portfolio, for example, increased by 92.9 percent from N106.9 billion in 2019 to N206.2 billion in 2020.
When compared to the N293.05 billion attained in the same period last year, the bank’s total assets increased by 67.90 percent.
In addition, the lender earned N42.71 billion in gross profits, compared to N44.59 billion in the previous year’s comparable period. In 2020, the bank’s customer deposit portfolio increased by 34.4 percent to N356.62 billion, up from N257.69 billion in the previous year.
During the year under review, profit after tax was N2.09 billion, while profit before tax was N2.22 billion. Its net operating income increased by 9.71 percent to N25.46 billion in the first quarter of 2019 from N23.21 billion the previous year.