AMCON plans `quick’ sale of Polaris Bank

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it wants a quick sale of Polaris Bank, the lender created to take over the assets and liabilities of failed Skye Bank Plc.
The corporation has also insisted that its sunset (2023) clause will not be extended even as it has vowed to recover the bad loans of Skye Bank.
Bloomberg quoted AMCON’s Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Kuru, as saying that the “divestment (from Polaris Bank) must be quick,” even as he disclosed that the corporation had met with the management of Polaris Bank and will sell the business in less than two years.

Established in 2010 to buy bad debts following a banking crisis in 2009, AMCON has set a 2023 deadline for dissolving its operations even as it struggles to recover non-performing loans valued at about N5.4trillion.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked the licence of Skye Bank last month for failing to meet capital and liquidity requirements.

The apex bank asked AMCON to capitalise Polaris with N786 billion.
According to the AMCON boss, the CBN intervened in Skye Bank because of “a lot of systemic issues,” including saving more than 5,000 jobs and almost N1 trillion in deposits.

“It’s a very big bank and if you allow anything to happen to it, it will affect some other financial institutions,” Kuru said, adding that AMCON has no plans to establish another rescue package for the country’s banks.

He said that the corporation would advertise for financial advisers for the sale of Polaris Bank after an investigation into the cause of its capital and liquidity challenges, adding that AMCON plans to prosecute individuals suspected to have contributed to the bank’s collapse with a view to recovering any bad loans linked to them.
“Because we have put a lot of money there, where we find out that something wrong has been done, I can assure you that people will be held responsible,” he said.

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