Monday, October 7, 2013

The Gambia: BANK PHB Renamed Keystone Bank



The Bank had its licence seized in 2011 by the Central Bank of Nigeria for failing to meet a new capital requirement.

The Bank was among 10 banks that failed the CBN’s “stress test” conducted in June 2009, a manifestation that they would have struggled to withstand another financial crisis. (Photo Credit: MSJoof/TNBES/August2011)
The Nigerian-owned Platinum Habib Bank (PHB) in The Gambia on Monday changed its name to Keystone Bank (Gambia) Limited.

The Bank’s Managing Director Darlington Lawson said change of name came at the back of meeting the regulatory requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and approval from the Central Bank of The Gambia.

Bank PHB was taken over by Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited on August 6, 2011 after its operation licence was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for failing to meet a new capital requirement.   

The PHB Nigeria Limited and two other banks (Afribank and Spring Bank) had their licenses seized, nationalized and taken over by the CBN at one go, after it ruled that they were unable to raise the new capital requirement.

“Bank PHB (Gambia) Limited is a locally incorporated entity and as such the change of ownership would have no bearing on its operations,” the CBG said in an August 8 statement. 

Last Friday, the management announced the Bank will be officially known as Keystone Bank (Gambia) Limited as of September 30, 2013. 

Mr Lawson, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the bank in Banjul, said Keystone Bank is a full service commercial bank with its head office in Lagos and over 200 branches in Nigeria and Africa. 

The brand activation places the bank in a stronger position and is a unique platform to demonstrate its continuing commitment to providing innovative banking solutions to its esteemed customers, he said.

Last Friday, the management announced the Bank will be officially known as Keystone Bank (Gambia) Limited as of September 30, 2013
The North Bank Evening Standard, TNBES, understands Bank PHB branded transaction documents, including cheque books, deposit slips, promissory notes and documents evidencing obligations on the part of the bank shall be allowed a transition period to be phased-out and exhausted.

Following the revocation of the Bank’s licence, the Nigerian government through the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), announced it had taken over the three banks by incorporating what it called “Bridge Banks” to temporarily take control of the banks.  

The government created three bridge banks: Mainstreet Bank, Keystone Bank, and Enterprise Bank, to take over the assets and liabilities of the banks in the interim.

A bridge bank is a temporary bank established and operated by financial regulators to acquire the assets and liabilities of a “failed bank” to facilitate its resolution. 

Keystone Bank MD Darlington Lawson (Photo/Keystone)
Bank PHB, Afribank, Spring Bank and six other banks in Nigeria had $4billion injected into them by the CBN in 2009, however, the three banks failed to meet the CNB’s capital requirement, a time limit for which was September 30, 2011.   

Despite the deadline being a month away, at that time, the Nigerian authorities believe it was “very obvious” the affected banks were having difficulties pulling through the re-capitilaistion process, saying the move is in line with Federal government's commitment not to allow any bank to “go under”.

The three banks were among the 10 that failed the CBN’s “stress test” conducted in June 2009, a manifestation that they would have struggled to withstand another financial crisis.

Bank PHB was formed in 2005 by the merger between Platinum Bank Plc and Habib Nigeria Bank Plc. Since its inception, the bank has pursued a strategy of expansion by the acquisition and creation of subsidiaries in and outside its home country of Nigeria.

The subsidiary of the Nigerian-owned bank (Bank PHB Gambia Limited), one of 12 commercial banks, opened for operation in the tiny West African country in 2007.



Written by Modou S. Joof
 
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