Any bank which fails to publish its annual account 12 months after the financial year end will have its chief executive sacked, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed.
Also to be fired is the chairman of such a bank.
This directive is contained in the CBN’s Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2018/2019 released at the weekend. It was signed by CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.
The policy aligns with the provisions of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 1991, which require banks to, subject to the written approval of the CBN, publish their audited financial statements- financial position and comprehensive income- in a national newspaper printed and circulated in Nigeria not later than four months after the end of each financial year.
Besides, to allow the implementation of consolidated supervision, the CBN directed all banks, discount houses and their subsidiaries to continue to adopt December 31 as their accounting year end.
“The CBN will continue to hold the Board Chairman and Managing Director of a defaulting bank directly responsible for any breach and impose appropriate sanctions, which may include barring the Managing Director or his/her nominee from participation in the Bankers’ Committee and disclosing the reason for such suspension.”
“It will also include suspension of the foreign exchange dealership licence of the bank and its name sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (in the case of a public quoted company) and removal of the Chairman and Managing Director/CEO from office if the accounts remain unpublished for 12 months after the end of the bank’s financial year,” the report said.
One Systematically Important Bank (SIB) with offshore subsidiaries in three countries has failed to publish its financial statement for the past three years. Its last published financial statement was for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015.
Also, based on the new CBN’s policy on financial account publication, any bank that fails to publish its 2017 financial statement by the close of business today will be sanctioned by the regulator.