Restructuring Nigeria’s banks: Holdco fever
Corporate buildings. Source: Samson via Unsplash

Stanbic IBTC Holding. FCMB Holding. FBN Holding. UBA Group. These brands make billions of naira in profit every quarter from banking. But they are unique among their peers because they also engage in non-banking businesses which drive their profits even higher.

Their non-banking brands: Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, FCMB Pensions and FBNInsurance are also well known, except for UBA Pensions Custodian Limited which is less recognisable. 

Interestingly, though, commercial banks in Nigeria are not permitted to engage in non-banking businesses. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prohibited it in 2010. However, to get around the CBN's directive, banks create a financial holding company (holdco) with the same owners (shareholders) as the bank. The holdco is then free to enter non-banking businesses. 

UBA, FBN, FCMB and Stanbic IBTC restructured as holdcos at various points over the past decade to keep their non-banking subsidiaries. As of last month, the CBN had given

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Osato Guobadia

Osato Guobadia

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