Category Archives: Oriental Bank

Bank Closures in Ghana and Tanzania

August 2 saw bank closures in Ghana and Tanzania with interesting back stories on the institutions from regulators in both countries.

Tanzania: the regulator Bank of Tanzania (BoT) issued notices that covered two separate cases. BoT took over Bank M, closing it down for three months and appointed a statutory manager (in place of the directors and management of the bank) who will determine the future of the institution. The statement (PDF) read that this was done for reasons that “..Bank M has critical liquidity problems and is unable to meet its maturing obligations. Continuation of the bank’s operations in the current liquidity condition is detrimental to the interests of depositors and poses systemic risk to the stability of the financial system.“. Two years ago, Bank M distanced itself from M Oriental Bank in Kenya.  

The Bank of Tanzania also published an update (PDF) on other banks whose licenses it had revoked in January 2018. Of these earlier bank closures, three of them had been given up to 31 July to increase their level of capitalization and as a result, the BoT had approved a decision to merge one of the affected banks – Tanzania Women’s Bank with another bank – TPB which will result in all its customers, employees, assets, and liabilities transferring to TBP Plc . Meanwhile, two of the other banks, Tandahimba Community Bank and Kilimanjaro Cooperative Bank managed to meet the set minimum capital requirements and have been allowed to resume normal banking operations.

Ghana: Meanwhile in Ghana, the regulator Bank of Ghana revoked licenses of five banks – uniBank Ghana, Royal Bank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Construction Bank – and appointed a receiver manager to supervise their assets and liabilities as a combined new indigenous bank, called the Consolidated Bank. All deposits at the five banks have been transferred to the new bank and customers will continue banking at their usual branches which will now become branches of Consolidated. Also, all staff of the five banks will become staff of Consolidated, except for the directors and shareholders of the five banks who will “no longer have any roles”

The Bank of Ghana statement reads that .. “to finance the gap between the liabilities and good assets assumed by Consolidated Bank, the Government has issued a bond of up to GH¢ 5.76 billion. ” and goes on to give some details and background of the problems encountered at the former five, leading to the subsequent bank closures:

  • uniBank: The Official Administrator appointed in March 2018 has found that the bank is beyond rehabilitation. Altogether, shareholders, related and connected parties of uniBank had taken out an amount of GH¢5.3 billion from the bank, constituting 75% of total assets of the bank. Over 89% of uniBank’s loans and advances book of GH¢3.74 billion as of 31st May 2018 was classified as non-performing, in addition to amounts totaling GH¢3.7 billion given out to shareholders and related parties which were not reported as part of the bank’s loan portfolio. uniBank’s shareholders and related parties have admitted to acquiring several real estate properties in their own names using the funds they took from the bank under questionable circumstances. Promises by these shareholders and related parties to refund monies by mid-July 2018 and legally transfer title to assets acquired back to uniBank have failed to materialize.
  • Royal Bank:  Its non-performing loans constitute 78.9% of total loans granted, owing to poor credit risk and liquidity risk management controls. A number of the bank’s transactions totaling GH¢161.92 million were entered into with shareholders, related and connected parties, structured to circumvent single obligor limits, conceal related party exposure limits, and overstate the capital position of the bank for the purpose of complying with the capital adequacy requirement.
  • Sovereign Bank:  Subsequent to its licensing, a substantial amount of the bank’s capital was placed with another financial institution as an investment for the bank. The bank has however not been able to retrieve this amount from the investment firm with which it was placed, and it has emerged that the investments were liquidated by the shareholders and parties related to them. Following enquiries by the Bank of Ghana, the promoters of the bank admitted that they did not pay for the shares they acquired in the bank. The promoters of the bank have since surrendered their shares to the bank, while the directors representing those original shareholders have since resigned. The Bank of Ghana has concluded that Sovereign Bank is insolvent, and that there is no reasonable prospect of a return to viability.
  • Beige Bank: Funds purportedly used by the bank’s parent company to recapitalize were sourced from the bank through an affiliate company and in violation with regulatory requirements for bank capital. In particular, an amount of GH¢163.47 million belonging to the bank was placed with one of its affiliate companies (an asset management company) and subsequently transferred to its parent company which in turn purported to reinvest it in the bank as part of the bank’s capital. The placement by the bank with its affiliate company amounted to 86.86% of its net own funds as at end June 2018, thereby breaching the regulatory limit of 10%. Also, the bank has not been able to recover these funds for its operations.
  • Construction Bank: the initial minimum paid up capital of the bank provided by its promoter/shareholder, was funded by loans obtained from NIB Bank Limited. An amount of GH¢80 million out of the amounts reported as the bank’s paid-up capital and purportedly placed with NIB and uniBank, remains inaccessible to the bank – and the bank’s inability to inject additional capital to restore its capital adequacy to the minimum capital of GH¢ 120 million required at the date of licensing threatens the safety of depositors’ funds and the stability of the banking system.

Bank Mergers & Musical Chairs in 2016 – Part II

Following part I Stanbic

Stanbic: Eight years after the merger between Stanbic and CFC banks, which created CFC Stanbic, Stanbic has rebranded and removed the “CFC” name completely from the bank. The 2008 merger created the number 4 bank in Kenya, and today it is about number 7 in assets with 25 branches and listed on the Nairobi shares exchange. The Stanbic brand will now be common in the 20 countries across Africa.

Bank M (of Tanzania) published a statement, denying they are the majority owners of the former Oriental Commercial Bank in Kenya – now known as M Oriental since June 2016. It states that MHL is a Kenyan entity that is promoted by some shareholders of Bank M, but that it does not have direct ownership.

QNB: Qatar National Bank continues to run quarterly newspaper ads on its size in Kenya without being linked to any Kenyan bank. Today’s newspaper which touts them as the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa region, with September 2016 assets of $196 billion (up 37%) and profits of $2.7 billion (up 11%).

Bank Mergers & Musical Chairs in 2016

There’s a moratorium on new banks licences, but still a lot happening in the ownership suites.
Who’s In
  • Bank M (of Tanzania) has bought out and rebranded (the former) Oriental Commercial Bank.
  • Sidian Bank: Centum bought out and rebranded (the former) K-Rep bank.
  • Spire Bank: Mwalimu SACCO bought out and rebranded (the former) Equatorial Commercial  bank.
Who’s Hanging On
  • Chase bank now reopened, but yet to resume lending. An ownership decision  is expected soon (process being managed by KCB)
  • Credit bank:  Discussions are ongoing about a sale to  FEP Holdings
  • Imperial bank (assets will be assessed and managed by NIC bank)
Who’s on the Way Out
  • Dubai bank (proceeding into liquidation)
  • Giro bank which has been bought out by I&M bank.
  • edit The CFC brand as CFC Stanbic Bank and CFC Stanbic Holdings (i.e group) becomes Stanbic Bank Kenya and Stanbic Holdings PLC respectively  – this comes about nine years after their merger of CFC and Stanbic banks.

Bank Review ‘07: Part 1

the bottom 5

The low end of the banking sector showed little growth in loans or deposits – bank sizes are stagnant.

40. City Finance: (last year 42) Estimated assets of 650 million shillings ($9.28 million) and loss of 20 million shillings in 2007. Kenya’s smallest bank was taken over by the Baraka Fund late in the year, and is expected to be recapitalized and turned around from 2008.

39. (41) Dubai: Estimated 1,480 million assets, profit of 10m shillings.
Growth of about 3% this year, but the bank will have achieve a smaller profit than last year. Its niche branch in Eastleigh and foreign remittance product has found increased competition.

38. (40) Oriental: Estimated 1,732m in assets and profit of 200 million. The perennial loss making Oriental bank (formerly BCCI and Delphis) was recapitalized and is on track for a profit this year following a payment from the Governments’ financial restructuring of Miwani Sugar company which owed the bank a significant debt.

37. (39) Paramount Universal : Estimated 2,258 billion and profit of 45 million. Growth in assets, deposits, and loans flat this year but at least is profitable.

36. (37) Transnational: Estimated 3.03 billion ($43 million) in assets, and 90 million ($1.3m) in profit for 2007. A quiet year for the bank which introduced a Fanikisha product for customers to save money and buy IPO shares on the NSE

Bank story of the week

Which way Equity?: It’s rare to see two sides of a story from the same editorial team – but it has happened on the controversial shielding of Equity Bank’s new shareholders with the Nation newspaper editorial defending the exemption granted by the Finance Minister, after the influential Business Daily editorial (sister newspaper in the Nation Media Group) had strongly opposed the same.

History Repeats

It is now acknowledged that commercial banks have put the ghost of bad debts behind them and have moved on to new clean lending books. However a lot of the decline in non-performing assets can be attributed to an increase in the overall loan book (not really a decline)

Also, the future may not be without a repeat if you fast forward two years from now when a fraction of the unsecured loans being hawked at anyone with a pay slip now will likely have gone bad. With the passage of the in duplum rule banks have to cut their losses and begin collection efforts as soon as they realise a loan is in trouble.

But the courts are clogged and it is difficult to collect from unsecured loans as there are no assets to recover and where the amounts being pursued are not worth the legal cost in money and time.

Other recent happenings

– Diamond Trust (Kenya) to participate in rights issue of Diamond Trust Tanzanian where it owns 33%
– Equity bank growth getting super heated?
Family Bank is Kenya’s newest bank
– Housing finance new product for first time homeowners
– Kenya Commercial Bank gets a new CEO
– Perennial loss maker Oriental bank (formerly Delphis) is on track for a profit this year following a restructuring deal at Miwani Sugar.