Skye Bank may opt for ‘International Banking’ License

In view of emerging developments in the banking industry in Nigeria, with the recent guidelines published by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seeking to categorize banks into three different cadres- regional, national and international banks, our investigations revealed that the Board and management of Skye Bank may seek the international banking license.

The Bank currently has three foreign subsidiaries within the African continent, namely: Skye Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited, Skye Bank (Gambia) Limited, and Skye Bank (Guinea) Limited.

The CBN, in its recent release directed banks to submit their individual plans for their new banking models 90 days from October 4, 2010 (i.e. on January 3, 2011), on account of the repeal of the Universal Banking Model (one-stop shop financial services supermarket) which banks in Nigeria had operated inthe past few years.

In a recent special release to all banks and the general public, with the title “CBN Scope, Conditions and Minimum Standards for Commercial Banks Regulations No. 01, 2010”, the minimum capital requirement for banks seeking ‘national banking license’ was pegged at N25 billion, which was the minimum capital for the recently repealed Universal Banking license. In like manner, the CBN stated that the minimum capital for banks seeking international banking license is now N50 billion.

Skye Bank Plc is believed to likely seek the international banking license, considering that after raising additional capital of about N12 billion recently via a special placement, its capital rose to about N99 billion, which is approximately 100% above the minimum N50 billion capital requirement for international banks. This is in addition to the Bank’s three foreign subsidiaries, which the Bank is likely to keep, in order to remain internationally competitive.

Skye Bank, which has good reputation for supporting businesses, especially through structured finance in critical sectors such as manufacturing, power, oil and gas, construction, transportation, hospitality, education, housing, agriculture, maritime/shipping etc, is expected to continue its tradition, in addition to seeking to up-tier its business focus in favor of the corporate segment.

The Bank recently financed the ultra modern Beloxxi Industries Limited, the biggest indigenous biscuit manufacturing company in Nigeria today, which is located at Agbara, Ogun State.

It also funded projects such as Independent Power Projects (IPPs) in the South-South and North-West, Steel Mills in various parts of the country, fertilizer importation, ultra modern hotels in Lagos and Port Harcourt, private schools in Lagos and Abuja, housing schemes across Nigeria, West Africa’s leading cocoa factory, several oil and gas exploration and production installations, various vessel acquisitions, clearing and forwarding agency activities, etc.

Skye Bank is also committed to encouraging the Nigerian entrepreneurial spirit, having accessed significant funding through the CBN-led Commercial Agriculture Guarantee Scheme (CAGS) for subsequent on-lending to customers. The Bank equally partnered with Bank of Industry (BOI) in the disbursement of funds under the Power & Manufacturing Fund. It was also appointed among only four banks as a Primary Lending Institution (PLI) under the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) Scheme by Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Analysts suggest that the Bank would continue to leverage its well-acknowledged cutting-edge Information & Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for deployment in the areas of revenue collection, payment systems, and various e-banking platforms.

Head Office: Skye Bank Plc.
3, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Tel: + 234 1 2701600