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Bank merger looms as CBN pegs N500bn minimum capital base



CBN Naira Notes

Bank mergers are imminent as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised minimum capital requirements for banks.

The Financial Policy and Regulation Department Director, Haruna Mustafa, signed a circular from CBN that all commercial, merchant, and non-interest banks received.

The banker’s bank pegged the minimum capital base for commercial banks with international authorization at N500 billion, up from N50 billion in 2005.

Also, CBN benchmarked the minimum capital requirement for banks with National Spread (N200 billion), regional (N50 billion), merchant banks ( N50 billion), National non-interest banks (N20 billion), and regional non-interest (N10 billion).

All banks are required to meet the minimum capital requirement within 24 months, commencing on April 1, 2024, and terminating on March 31, 2026.

“The prevailing macroeconomic challenges and headwinds occasioned by external and domestic shocks have underscored the need for banks to raise and maintain adequate capital to enhance their resilience, solvency, and capacity to continue to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Consequently, in furtherance of its statutory responsibility to promote a safe, sound, and stable banking system and in line with Section 9 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at this moment announces an upward review of the minimum capital requirements for commercial, merchant, and non-interest banks in Nigeria,”  the circular partly reads.

Chronicle NG recalls that in 2005, the capital requirement for an international banking licence stood at N50 billion. Then, the minimum capital requirement for national banks was N25 billion.