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Wema Bank secures national banking licence

• Capital base hits N43.8b

Wema Bank Plc has been granted a national
banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) to enable the lender deepen its business
reach across the country.

The bank, which before the approval, was
operating with regionalbanking authorisation, got
the uplift after complying with the CBN’s

“The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted a final
approval to Wema Bank Plc to convert its banking
license from a regional bank to a national bank,”
the lender said in a statement released yesterday.

The bank was in 2010, downscaled to operate only
within its core areas of business – Southsouth,
Southwest and Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

The lender, which operates with a capital base of
N43.8 billion has met the regulatory requirements
for the national banking license as stipulated by the
apex bank. “This historic event has made Wema
Bank the first bank to be granted a National
Banking License having previously operated with a
Regional License,” the statement said.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Segun
Oloketuyi, said: “This approval represents a
milestone for the bank in the delivery of its Project
LEAP commitments. Six years ago, we took a
decision to refocus the bank’s operations on its
areas of strength and build a sustainable

“We took advantage of the new licencing regime
and applied for a Regional authorisation with a
pledge to expand in the near future, once the
turnaround project was completed. The bank’s
transformation was implemented in three phases;
first to stabilise the bank, second to prepare the
building blocks for growth and third to go for
growth. We are now within the third phase of the
transformation project.”

Oloketuyi said the new licence has created
opportunities to scale up growth, helping the
lender to strategically select its business locations
across the country with focus on areas where
return on investment will be maximized, and
shareholders’ value enhanced over the medium to
long term.

“To ensure that this approval is leveraged
appropriately, we are already in the process of
raising $100 million in Tier 2 capital and would
commence a Tier 1 capital raise in the first quarter
of 2016. This will further position the bank to
pursue its growth strategy. The Bank remains on
course in its turnaround programme as evidenced
by its robust balance sheet and sustained
profitability, which would be maintained through
its national authorisation.”

He expressed gratitude to the bank’s stakeholders,
stating that the lender’s transformation project has
succeeded largely due to the great support
received from customers and shareholders. “Our
priority remains delivering delightful and
memorable service to our customers,” he said.

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