Growth in banking industry hinges on firm regulatory framework — Nigeria

Nigerian Tribune

Nigeria flag waving with stack of money coins. Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said the remarkable growth witnessed in the Nigerian banking industry over the past decade is partly attributable to the capital market and SEC’s comprehensive regulatory approach.

Director General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, said this at the 2023 Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) graduates induction and prize award recently.

He said, “The harmonious relationship between the capital market and the banking sector is further exemplified by our role in facilitating capital raising, mergers and acquisitions for banks.

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“By streamlining the listing process and ensuring adherence to high standards of transparency and corporate governance, we enable banks to tap into the securities market as a means to secure funds from a diverse range of investors.

“This synergy between the banking industry and the capital market is illuminated by the fact that only four out of the 25 banks that emerged from the Central Bank’s 2004 recapitalisation exercise did not access the capital market before compliance.”

Yuguda charged the graduates on professionalism and adapting to changes in the financial world.

“Distinguished graduates, as you embark on your banking careers, remember the importance of integrity, good moral conduct, and adaptability.

“The financial world is evolving rapidly due to technology and global changes. Embrace these shifts as unique and timely opportunities to contribute positively to the banking industry,” he said.

He said the theme, ‘Navigating the Pathways of Banking Excellence’, aptly encapsulates the journey that each of them embarks upon.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria for its determined commitment to nurturing industry-ready professionals. Your dedication resonates with our shared vision of fostering a resilient, well-regulated financial ecosystem that can withstand challenges and foster sustainable growth.

“The most renowned professionals are celebrated today for building business empires and nurturing thoroughbred professionalism, achieving success through proper conduct, steadfast dedication, and a meticulous approach that allowed them to refine their long-term visions and goals’” Yuguda further stated.

He said the CIBN’s vision aligns with the Commission’s quest for transparent and fair conduct in securities business by ensuring that operators in the capital market play according to the rules.

“The Commission also recognizes individual and corporate players whose conducts not only ensure compliance but do more to make investment an interesting endeavour.

“As regulators and professional bodies, we must ensure that our onboarding processes for new entrants are robust enough so that only fit and proper persons find their way into the very exciting careers in the financial market.

“Similar to what obtains in the money market, the Commission’s engagement spans a spectrum of activities, including registration, surveillance, proactive regulation, and robust enforcement mechanisms, all aimed at nurturing a fair and transparent market environment.

“Even though the CBN is unrelenting in ensuring full compliance by banks and other financial institutions through relevant departments, the professional bodies, especially the CIBN must leverage continuous assessment to ensure that bankers demonstrate probity and ethical conduct at all times.

“As the financial market continues to evolve with the increasing need to embrace financial technology, we must keep fine-tuning the regulatory frameworks that guide our continued operation in the market,” he said.

Yuguda said the culture of transparency mandated by the Investments and Securities Act empowers investors to make informed decisions.

“This transparency, in turn, fosters trust within the banking industry and encourages broader participation in financial markets, thereby enhancing investment inflows.

“As you may be aware, retail investors played a pivotal role in the success of recapitalization exercises in the banking and insurance sectors, portraying the collective strength of individual contributions,” he noted.

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