NDIC intervention in failed Skye bank saved 6,000 jobs

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Wednesday that its intervention in the successful acquisition of the failed Skye Bank under the bridge bank mechanism that saw Polaris takeover the bank saved over 6,000 jobs.
In a keynote address, delivered by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Ahaji Umaru Ibrahim, at the sensitisation seminar for Court of Appeal, yesterday, in Abuja, the corporation said one of the positive takeaways from the bridge bank option, was that no employee was sacked after the takeover.
He said Polaris currently operates in all the 300 branches of the defunct Skye Bank, retaining all the over 6,000 workforce.
“As a result of NDIC and CBN’s intervention, Polaris Bank successfully acquired Skye Bank Plc, under the bridge bank mechanism. Some of the positive results of the bridge bank option is that Polaris Bank currently operates in the 300 branches of the defunct Skye Bank PLC premises all over the country without disruption of banking transaction; this has saved over 6,000 employees of the failed Skye Bank from being out of jobs.”
Ibrahim noted that the takeover has not prevented depositors from accessing their deposits, while the creditors of the failed bank whose liabilities are assumed by Polaris also have unfettered access to their funds.
The MD said the successful takeover of the assets and liabilities by Polaris without any hitch was yet another milestone in the annals of successful bank failure resolution measures in deposit insurance practice in Nigeria.
He assured stakeholders, including the judiciary, that the NDIC would not relent in its collaborative efforts with CBN and other agencies in the financial sector in minimising unlawful dealings, “week internal control and overall noncompliance to prudential guidelines”.
He disclosed that the erstwhile directors and management of Skye Bank are being investigated by relevant agencies to determine their culpability or otherwise, saying those found to have had a role in the failure would be prosecuted to act as deterrent.
Meanwhile, in her welcome address, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, said the collaboration between the judiciary and NDIC was an avenue to learn about the workings of the financial service sector and the deposit insurance system (DIS) in particular.
She noted that the interaction which is six years old now, is in recognition of the fact that bank supervisors in the financial services sector and the judiciary are partners in the promotion of financial system stability in the country, adding the deposit insurance scheme is s critical component of the financial safety net arrangement which is to protect depositors.
She said the objective of the seminar is to sensitize participants on the nature of deposit insurance law, bring to the fore the challenges to the law and practice of deposit insurance in Nigeria as well as to “pontificate on solutions to these challenges.”
She said this was necessary “as the financial system and deposit insurance in particular operates within the context of legal system, and the judiciary as we all know is tasked with the interpretation of laws and adjudicating of disputes, including financial disputes.”


Felix Omohomhion, Abuja

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