Home Finance Intercontinental recovers N 78 billion, explains waivers to debtors

Intercontinental recovers N 78 billion, explains waivers to debtors

by Business News Report

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
The caretaker of Intercontinental Bank yesterday disclosed that the bank has recovered over N 78 billion out of the N 142.644 billion provisions for loans and other known losses stating that the waiver the bank granted to debtors was in line with the existing policy in the bank to encourage debtors to pay. This fact was disclosed by the bank’s caretaker Managing Director/CEO Mr. Lai Alabi at an interactive session with Business Editors in Lagos. According to him “Under the current debt recovery drive, which has resulted in the recovery of over N 78 billion during the last three months, will be aggressively pursued, while a lot of premium will be placed on balance sheet efficiency. The business transformation process also includes initiatives to strategically manage cost, increase branch profitability and improve the mix and cost of deposits by aggressively growing savings and current accounts, while maintaining its current strengths in public sector.
Meanwhile in his reaction to waivers the bank’s caretaker management, which he is heading, granted
to debtors he said “1st of all, when loans have become bad as they are, when the underlying securities have virtually been totally eroded as we have now, then there is a need to give some concessions in order to encourage such debtors to pay, that is exactly what we did and this is the practice in all banks both in Nigeria and worldwide.
“There existed such policy on waivers before the present management assumed office, this was then presented to the credit committee which refined it and presented it to the board which approved it. But we are contesting with serious issue of moles in the bank, what this people intend to achieve was to malign the bank frustrate the progress we have made for the purpose of serving certain interest.

Most of the figures given out are distorted. For instance, in some cases the amounts they are asked to pay exclude the valves of share the loans where used to purchase. Also in most cases, the waivers took into consideration, wrong debits, penalty charges and other entries in dispute, we need to have in mind that our effort have so far yielded a reward of about N 80 billion since the intervention.
“It should also be noted that waivers are not indefinite, they are time bound and if any customer fails to honour its commitment, the waiver stand withdrawn, we shall not be deterred with this kind of distractions with the aid of some disgruntled insiders, in our task and commitment to reposition this bank as a force to reckon with in the banking industry.
“This management has remained focussed in operating in an open manner with a high degree of integrity and transparency. We are succeeding in introducing a culture of good corporate governance which was entirely lacking in the past. A few disgruntled elements who are not happy with this new direction are working hard underground to frustrate it. We shall not allow them”
According to him ‚ÄúCentral to its cost rationalisation strategy is the re-appraisal of its branch retention and expansion strategy and its staffing requirements. The Bank has embarked on a thorough appraisal of the performance of all its branches as efficient points of sale of its bouquet of products. This is because the nucleus of the Bank’s imposing presence in the market place remains its very customer friendly product range, particularly in electronic and other retail banking products.
The Board of Directors noted that the Intercontinental brand has become a strong national brand. The Board approved sustaining and building the brand, with emphasis on a new business orientation built on the core values of transparency and integrity.
‚ÄúThe Board of Directors of Intercontinental Bank he said has approved the implementation of a comprehensive strategic repositioning exercise tagged ‘PROJECT TRANSFORMATION’. This is in response to the unfolding industry challenges and has as its objective the need to re-establish the Bank as a leading financial services institution in Nigeria.
“The Project, which will be implemented in phases, covers various aspects. The first phase, described as Stabilisation Phase, aims at harnessing the existing strengths of the Bank through measures targeted at instituting a culture of good corporate governance, in addition to other core values such as transparency and integrity. Given that a well driven and motivated staff will remain central to the entire process, a lot of focus is also being directed at building and improving staff morale.
‚ÄúThe second phase, the Re-Building Phase, is generally aimed at business development and growth. The Bank boasts of an array of popular and successful products. The focus here is on retooling the Bank’s products, especially liability generation and e-Banking products in such a way as to enhance customer satisfaction. Emphasis will be on the re-growth of market share, especially in the retail and commercial Banking segments. The Bank has embarked on a total overhaul of its risk management and control mechanisms in order to mitigate and avoid the recurrence of past pitfalls.
‚ÄúThese products will now be delivered with renewed enthusiasm focussing on market satisfaction. During this phase, the Bank will regain its share of markets in the products. Just recently, the Bank clinched the Best e-banking Bank and Best e-banking Team of the year awards organised by Interswitch Nigeria Limited. It was again ranked among the top five banks in the country in a recent Customer Perception Survey carried out by Research and Marketing Services (RMS) last month in recognition of the Bank’s strong e-banking products, excellent customer service and branch network.
“The third phase, the Consolidation Phase, will derive from the significant outcomes of the first two. Successes in the earlier phases are expected to lead to quick return to profitability and reawaken investor interests. This will culminate in a well thought out programme of capital raising and other forms of business amalgamation to further boost and strengthen the asset base of the institution. During this phase, the Bank intends to significantly increase value to its shareholders.
“It will be recalled that Intercontinental Bank was one of the five institutions that received bailout funds following CBN intervention in the Banking industry in August, 2009. A new management led by Mr. Mahmoud Lai Alabi, the Managing Director & Chief Executive, was appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to run the institution as a going concern. In October 2009, Yusuf Suleiman, Executive Director (Finance & Subsidiaries), Olusegun Osilowo, Executive Director {Lagos & South) and Abubakar Danlami Sule, Executive Director (FCT & North), assumed duties. The new management comes with solid experience, records of worthy recognition and imbued with a culture of good corporate governance, transparency and integrity.
According to the caretaker Managing Director, the Bank has since stabilised, while the initial liquidity pressures have become a thing of the past. The Bank enjoys significant brand loyalty and boast of an array of banking products, being one of the most diversified financial institutions in Nigeria. Its recovery efforts has led to collection of over N78 billion since the CBN intervention and this is expected to increase to about N100 billion before the end of the year”.

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