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De-marketing: Stockbrokers finger first generation bank MD

by Business News Report

By Omoh Gabriel
LAGOS — Stockbrokers in the country yesterday fingered the managing director of one of the five top banks in the country as the source of the de-marketing going on now in the banking industry.
The brokers said the bank boss is involved in the act to promote both his ambition of becoming the next CBN governor and a regional agenda set for him by his sponsors.
According to the brokers, the said top banker “using direct de-marketing antics, big time depositors including state governors and ministers are being harassed with text messages, e-mails and other information devices suggesting that only two banks are healthy in Nigeria today, thereby urging depositors to move their funds away from all other banks to those two banks.” As a result, highly placed Nigerians have been calling on their brokers to disclose to them the true financial position of each of the banks in the country.
It will be recalled that Vanguard last week reported exclusively that anti-consolidation forces have regrouped with the hope of dissembling the banks and forcing a take over of the top five banks in the country. The report had said “The grand plan by the group is to cause panic and uncertainty in the industry and make the target banks look unsafe for depositors. Their aim, Vanguard gathered, is to cause loss of public confidence in the banking industry and compel the Federal Government to move in by injecting funds. Further, they ultimately plan to instigate government to take equity holdings in the targeted banks.

“Vanguard investigations revealed that the group at work is made up of former bank owners who lost out during the consolidation exercise, a powerful clique in the present government, and some aggrieved persons in three of the six geopolitical zones in the country who felt left out in the consolidation exercise.
Presidency sources disclosed that those who felt left out in the consolidation exercise are grieved and are up in arms to recoup what they felt they lost during Obasanjo years.
“Part of the plan hatched by the group is to ensure that incumbent Central Bank governor, Professor Charles Soludo does not get a second term. The plan is also to ensure that what ever gains that consolidation had is discredited. This it was learnt was meant to force the President to act quickly in matter of appointment of a successor to Soludo as they anticipate that the president’s slow move may scuttle their dreams and cause the renewal of Soludo appointment for a second term.
“The group second game plan is to make Nigerian banks look un safe in the eye of the banking public. They have perfected their game by spreading rumour that some categories of banks are unsound and are on the verge of collapse. They send out text messages to individuals and account holders passing wrong information on their target banks. At the moment the group’ target is two of the high flying new generation bank where they have sent out several messages.
Stockbrokers who have been in the eye of the storm over margin loans which banks granted them that have gone bad as a result of the global financial meltdown denied that they contributed in any way to the bad loans in the banks, but rather they were acting on behalf of their clients in all buy and sell contracts in stocks, contrary to an allegation by a first generation bank’s chief executive.
The first generation bank chief executive, the brokers alleged, who is currently vying for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governorship position, also has stock of loans that has gone bad, while using de-marketing to shore-up his bank’s financial position against its year end which fails due in March. This is also expected to improve his profile against other candidates jostling for the CBN job.
However, the stockbrokers have also identified other banks that have joined in the de-marketing of competitors to cause more confusion in the industry. Thus, no fewer than 13 banks have been mentioned as being distressed at-the last count. It’s believed that over 18 banks have gone to CBN for the expanded discount window money to shore up their deposits and meet customers’ obligation amidst tight liquidity-situation in the industry, arising from de-marketing going on in the industry.

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