The Steering Board of the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) has said that it is engaging with Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Diamond Bank on the alleged illegal capital repatriation of $8.1billion for MTN Nigeria Limited.
The board in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday said: “The attention of the Steering Board of the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) has been drawn to the announcement from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 28 August 2018, on the alleged illegal capital repatriation of circa $8.1billion for MTN Nigeria Limited, between 2007 and 2015 by four Banks, including Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, and Diamond Bank Plc and the subsequent fines imposed on the four banks.
CGRS is a joint initiative between the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), developed to rate the corporate governance and integrity practices of all companies listed on the Exchange. The CGRS was launched on November 3, 2014.
“The Steering Board has also noted subsequent publications and articles in the media relating to this matter. Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, are companies listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The Exchange), and they are among the thirty-five companies that were awarded the CGRS certification on February 22, 2018.”
The board noted that regulatory compliance formed a major part of the requirement for the award of the CGRS certification.
“Consequently, the Steering Board is engaging with Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Diamond Bank Plc on this matter, and will inform the investing public on the outcome of its engagement at a future date” it said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently imposed a N5.87 billion fine on Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Citibank, and Diamond Bank for alleged irregularities
The banks, according to the apex bank, allegedly remitted foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) to offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd.
MTN was also asked to refund the $8.13 billion, which was illegally repatriated by the company.
Giving a breakdown of the imposed fines, CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said Standard Chartered Bank would pay a fine of N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria N1.26 billion and Diamond Bank N250 million.
The director in a statement said CBN’s investigation revealed that $3.45 billion was repatriated by Standard Chartered Bank on the basis of the illegally issued CCIs.
Okorafor also said the sums of $2.63 billion, $1.766 billion and $348 million were repatriated by Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank, respectively during the period 2007 and 2015.
He said the apex bank had directed the affected banks to immediately refund the respective sums to CBN.
The director said that investigation revealed that on account of illegal conversion of MTN shareholders’ loan to preference shares of $399.59 million, $8.13 billion was illegally repatriated by the company.
Okorafor advised all banks and multinational companies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the provisions of all extant laws and regulations of Nigeria in their foreign exchange transactions.
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