26 February 2014

Nigeria: We've Reached N5 Billion Recapitalisation - MD, ASO Savings

ASO Savings and Loans Plc has successfully increased its capital base to N5 billion, thus meeting the minimum capital requirement as prescribed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for it to operate as a national primary mortgage bank (PMB).

Managing director of the company Mr Hassan Musa Usman, who made this known yesterday, also disclosed that the bank plans to significantly build up its mortgage loan portfolio and to aggressively expand to all states of the federation.

According to Usman, "with our successful recapitalisation, meeting the CBN's N5 billion minimum requirement for primary mortgage institutions (PMIs), ASO is reinvigorating its three-year plan of expanding its business operations all over the country so that existing and prospective customers can have access to all the unique mortgage opportunities that ASO Savings offers."

Usman, while noting that the development was part of the bank's business vision planned for the year, stated that "we will be revealing more information about the expansion plans in the coming weeks".

He added: "However, with our solid capitalisation, asset base and capital projects across the country in partnership with both state and federal governments, we have grown so much in equity and capital base."

The CBN in 2010 asked the 89 primary mortgage institutions (PMIs) in the country to recapitalise to N5 billion, an announcement that caused ripples in the industry. The apex bank fixed April 2013 as deadline for compliance but eventually extended the deadline to December 2013.

LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that, at the expiration of the deadline, out of the 89 PMBs, about 40 successfully raised the required capital base of N5 billion and N2.5 billion to operate nationwide or in one state of the federation.

In a circular to the successful PMBs, dated February 14, 2014, and entitled "Re: Compliance With the Minimum Capital Requirement", the CBN said: "Our assessment of the financial position and records of your institution as at December 31, 2013, against the requirements of the Revised Guidelines for Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) in Nigeria, show that your PMB has satisfied the prescribed minimum capital requirements for a National Primary Mortgage Bank.

"You are however required to prepare and submit for our review within one month of your receipt of this letter, your post-compliance fund utilisation plan, indicating expected growth and branch expansion programme (if any) and the details of the underlying assumptions. The plan should also contain your capacity building programme for staff. Compliance with your plan will also be reviewed during subsequent examination of your bank by the CBN/NDIC."

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