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CBN raises capital base of banks to N500bn, issues a 24 months compliance window

CBN

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled new minimum capital requirements for banks, pegging the minimum capital base for commercial banks with international authorisation at N500 billion.

A circular issued by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa to all commercial, merchant, and non-interest banks and promoters of proposed banks emphasised that all banks are required to meet the minimum capital requirement within 24 months beginning from April 1, 2024, and terminating on March 31, 2026.

The CBN spokesperson, Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the development in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Ali, the new minimum capital base for commercial banks with national authorisation is now N200 billion, while the new requirement for those with regional authorisation is N50 billion.

The apex bank also disclosed that the new minimum capital for merchant banks would be N50 billion, while the new requirements for non-interest banks with national and regional authorisations are N20 billion and N10 billion, respectively.

The announcement comes just days after CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, urged deposit money banks to expedite action on the recapitalisation of their capital base in order to strengthen the financial system.

Last November, Cardoso, who assumed office two months earlier, had said commercial banks in the country would be directed to increase their capital base to service a $1 trillion economy ambition of the President Bola Tinubu administration.

The last time the CBN increased capital base for banks was in 2005, when the current Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, was the apex bank chief. Capital base was raised from N2billion to N25billion.

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