GUARANTY Trust Bank has bagged the African Banker of the year award for the second consecutive time. The award which was held in Kigali, Rwanda, was held to recognise the achievements of financial services industry in Africa. It recognised individuals and financial institutions contributing to the development and growth of Africa’s banking industry and changing perceptions of the continent’s domestic and international markets.
Omar Yedder, publisher of African Banker magazine, said that there was no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and development to achieve the transformation that is desired and worked towards. Kunle Sonola, managing director of GTBank, Kenya, who received the award, said the bank was highly honoured with the coveted award which also posed a challenge for it to do more to project the global relevance of African banking industry.
CBN Tightens Noose on Money Laundering
THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is taking steps to curb money laundering and terrorism financing activities in deposit money banks and discount houses. Accordingly, it has passed circulars to banks and discount houses violating its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules warning them to desist with immediate effect or face severe penalties.
The circular posted on CBN website on Wednesday, May 23, ordered banks and discount houses to comply with its past directives and among, other things, appoint a chief compliance officer who would report directly to the board of directors on issues concerning money laundering and terrorism financing. According to the CBN, banks must ensure that the CCOs report to the board of directors with dotted lines to the MD/CEO without interlocking roles.
The CBN has, however, observed the lack-luster attendance of the CCOs at the monthly meetings of the CCOs of banks in the country, has resulted in the inability of the forum to form the required quorum necessary to take vital decisions pursuant to its mandate. However, the CBN said henceforth, it would monitor the attendance by the CCOs at the monthly meetings of the CCCOB and would not hesitate to take the appropriate regulatory action to stem the unsatisfactory attendance at this important forum.
Ecobank, AfDB Sign $200m Financing Facility Agreement
ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated and the African Development Bank, AfDB, have signed an agreement for a $200m trade finance facility. The agreement was signed at the AfDB annual general meeting in Kigali. The facility comprises two components which include a $100m unfunded risk-sharing facility to bolster Ecobank’s capacity as an international confirming bank for trade transactions originated by issuing banks in Africa and another $100m trade facilitation loan which will be used by Ecobank to provide trade finance support to local corporate bodies and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Africa.
Albert Essien, group chief executive officer, Ecobank Group, said the facility would greatly support international and intra-regional trade in Africa and that the bank looked forward to an ever-deepening collaboration with the AfDB in order to provide vital trade finance support to promote regional integration and the development of SMEs across Africa.
Compiled by Chinwe Okafor
— Jun. 9, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT