Are You Ready For This? Fidelity Bank Will Be Fined By CBN

The dust has not settled over the Fidelity Bank’s involvement in the ‘INEC Bribery’ scandal. While everyone seems to be fixated on the figures alleged to have exchanged hands through the bank and other handlers, there is a bigger concern that the business and financial markets community need to keep an eye on.

Wile the CBN is reported to be going through the books of the bank, the end result is a bigger problem for Fidelity Bank and anyone with interest in the bank.

Early this week, we reported that Fidelity Bank has returned NGN 47.2 million to the EFCC, its alleged profit in the transaction. While the bank has not denied the report, the end result of the CBN’s investigations will be a light or hefty fine that will penalise the bank for going against the apex bank’s rules on money laundering.

Mohammed Balarabe, Acting MD, Fidelity Bank PLC

Last year, the CBN fined many banks for various infractions. The apex bank fined United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, and Sterling Bank Plc about NGN 3.2 billion for various offences relating with their compliance on the treasury single account policy of the federal government.

The current government of Nigeria has been rampaging the business and political landscape with its anti-corruption fight. The CBN will have no option than to fine Fidelity Bank.

Source: Bloomberg (data is 15 minutes delayed). T&C applies.
Source: Bloomberg (data is 15 minutes delayed). T&C applies.

As to how much the CBN would fine the bank, the figure is relative. It depend on its rule concerning the infraction committed. In the case of Zenith Bank, Punch, a local general newspaper reported that the bank was fined 60.1 million for nine offences including ‘risk assets examination as of December 31, 2014, N2m; late rendition of fraud and forgeries returns, N2m; fraudulent instant pay from an account in the Enterprise Bank to the Valluci Properties Limited, N10m; and late rendition of returns in respect of CDL, N4m.’

However, EFCC’s allegation against Fidelity Bank is however different. It is a  blatant case of money laundering and theft. It makes it more worrisome for anyone with the interest of the bank in mind. The next few weeks will witness the announcement of the fine.

Share of Fidelity Bank has tumbled since the incidence and could hit rock bottom should the announcement of a hefty fine is slammed on the bank.

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